Discussing whether western medicine or eastern medicine is better...
Western medicine is very reductionist; that is, they identify the problems as location-specific and try to cure from there. For example, "My stomach hurts" --> stomach examination --> Ulcer! --> medicine for stomach ulcer.
Eastern medicine is very holistic; that is, they tend to think that the diseases and pains are an unbalance to the body's equilibrium. For example, "My stomach hurts" --> pulse/pressure examination --> Too much stress = unbalanced body!--> medicine/treatment to relieve stress and restore the balance.
It's like the old debates between the Cnidians and Hippocratics back in the good old Greece. Though, interestingly enough, it was the Cnidians who were the reductionist while Hippocratics who were holistic.
So, which is better?
In emergency medicine and surgical technology, Western medicine is by far superior to eastern medicine. Understandably so, since the reductionist attitude fits well with such fields. If you just got into a car crash and your arm is 6 feet in front of you, you're going to want to go to an M.D.
In everything else, Eastern medicine dominates the field. Western medicine's response to things like migrane, nausea, arthritis, or even stomach ulcer is shockingly remedial. All the "new" and "exciting" advances in pharmaceutical industries are laughable; they're just recreating the same old, same old (kinda like Hollywood
). And of course, this is coming from an aspiring pre-med student who's going to become a M.D. (or at least hopefully).
I believe, like many doctors, med students, and pre-med students, that eventually (within this century if anything else) the two fields will merge into one practice.