Month: October 2009

“Methodolatry”: My new favorite term for one of the shortcomings of evidence-based medicine

I’d like to thank revere right now publicly. He’s taught me a new word: Methodolatry: The profane worship of the randomized clinical trial as the only valid method of investigation. Many of you have e-mailed me and other SBM bloggers about a recent article in The Atlantic by Shannon Brownlee and Jeanne Lenzer, two reporters whose particular bias is that we as...

/ October 24, 2009

Journalist fails but science wins during flu pandemic

The Atlantic has a monumentally horrible article up about flu vaccination which has been buzzing around our bloggy back channels. There has been some good science reporting out there lately, but this ain’t it. I was hoping one of the best public health blogs would jump on this, and jump on it they did.  It is a terrific example of how to...

/ October 24, 2009

Hi Ho Silver

I was making rounds at the hospital and, for some strange reason, I was being asked about influenza. No, this is not going to be an entry on influenza. But I was asked if there was anything besides the vaccines that can prevent influenza.  Masks and good hand washing will help, I said. Anything else? A nurse suggested colloidal silver.

/ October 23, 2009
knee x-ray

A Case Study In Aggressive Quackery Marketing

With some degree of sadness I recently “outed” a former co-resident of mine who has turned to the dark side and begun putting money-making before truth and science. Without any clear evidence of benefit beyond placebo, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is now being marketed aggressively as a cure-all for sports injuries. And at about $300 per injection (the NYT reports $2000/treatment), there’s plenty...

/ October 22, 2009

The New Plague

I’m taking this opportunity to introduce a new blog to the SBM audience, and to draw yet more attention to the growing and dangerous trend of parental vaccine refusal. So, please take a momentary break from your perusal of this most esteemed font of knowledge, and point your browser to Gotham Skeptic.

/ October 21, 2009

Copper and Magnetic Bracelets for Arthritis

A recent study published in the journal Complementary Therapies in Medicine shows no benefit from copper or magnetic bracelets for symptomatic treatment of arthritis. While this is a relatively small study, it highlights the lack of evidence to support this billion dollar plus industry. The study is a double-blind, controlled crossover study involving 45 subjects with osteroarthritis. Each subject wore one of...

/ October 21, 2009

Mixed Messages on Campus

The past two months have been my first time working in the hospital, as a third-year medical student in my Internal Medicine clerkship. It’s been exciting not only to see how medicine works but to be a part of the action! It really is striking to see the dramatic increases in proficiency and confidence with each stage of the training. From junior...

/ October 20, 2009

The Montagnier “Homeopathy” Study

A recent study is being cited as support for homeopathy. For instance, the Homeopathy World Community website says Luc Montagnier Foundation Proves Homeopathy Works. Dana Ullman cites it in the comments to this blog And I assume that you all have seen the new research by Nobel Prize-winning virologist Luc Montagnier that provides significant support to homeopathy.  Nope. Sorry, guys. It doesn’t....

/ October 20, 2009

An epidemic of fear: The anti-vaccine movement’s war on science

We’ve often castigated the press and mainstream media for getting it so very, very wrong on the issue of vaccines and autism and its all-too-often credulous treatment of the anti-vaccine movement. That’s very important. However, it’s also equally important to recognize mainstream media outlets when they get it so very, very right. That’s why, with minimal fanfare, I’m simply going to refer...

/ October 20, 2009

Beware religious meddling in the latest version of health care reform

Every so often, as the health care reform initiative spearheaded by the Obama Administration wends its way through Congress (or, more precisely, wend their ways through Congress, given that there are multiple bills coming from multiple committees in both Houses), I’ve warned about various chicanery from woo-friendly legislators trying to legitimize by legislation where they’ve failed by science various “alternative” medicine practices....

/ October 19, 2009