How does the medical establishment respond to Andrew Weil? Surprisingly mildly. Although many doctors resent his attacks and find some of his recommendations unscientific, most don't quarrel with the thrust of his teachings. Says Dr. James R. Allen, vice president of the American Medical Association: "There is a lot of very useful information in his books."

Indeed, Weil's advice to take vitamins, eat fruits and veggies, avoid fat-rich meat, exercise and reduce stress is now echoed by mainstream physicians. Even his catchphrase "spontaneous healing" has its analogue in medical canon. As an earlier Harvard grad, Dr. Lewis Thomas, once observed, "The...

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