All posts by David Gorski

Dr. Gorski's full information can be found here, along with information for patients. David H. Gorski, MD, PhD, FACS is a surgical oncologist at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute specializing in breast cancer surgery, where he also serves as the American College of Surgeons Committee on Cancer Liaison Physician as well as an Associate Professor of Surgery and member of the faculty of the Graduate Program in Cancer Biology at Wayne State University. If you are a potential patient and found this page through a Google search, please check out Dr. Gorski's biographical information, disclaimers regarding his writings, and notice to patients here.

Dichotomous thinking and uncertainty in medicine and science

Medicine is by its very nature uncertain. Unfortunately, humans don't deal well with uncertainty, and our tendency towards dichotomous thinking leads us to think that if we're not absolutely certain about something we don't know anything.

/ November 11, 2019

Shame on HBO! Bill Maher interviews Dr. Jay Gordon and the antivaccine misinformation flows.

Friday night, an old "friend" of the blog, pediatrician and antivaccine apologist Dr. Jay Gordon, made an appearance on Real Time With Bill Maher. In a long segment, the antivaccine misinformation flowed fast and furious in a Gish gallop of pseudoscience. WTF, HBO?

/ November 4, 2019

The Cleveland Clinic publishes a study claiming to show benefits from functional medicine. It doesn’t.

Last week, the Cleveland Clinic published a study purporting to show that functional medicine improves health-related quality of life. Not surprisingly, on closer examination, there's a lot less to the study than meets the eye, and its results are quite underwhelming.

/ October 28, 2019

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. hosts a trainwreck of an antivaccine forum in Harlem

Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. reached out to the African-American Community in Harlem with his antivaccine message. It didn't go so well. First, Rev. Al Sharpton, whose National Action Committee was going to host it, bailed due to negative publicity. Then RFK Jr. was kicked out of his venue during his speech because the event went way over time. RFK Jr.'s efforts do,...

/ October 21, 2019

Woo versus Wikipedia

Love it or hate it, Wikipedia is a main go-to rough and ready source of information for millions of people. Although I've had my problems with Wikipedia and used to ask whether it could provide reliable information on medicine and, in particular, alternative medicine and vaccines, given that anyone can edit it, I now conclude that Wikipedia must be doing OK, at...

/ October 14, 2019
Quackery duck

A horrifying survey of “pediatric naturopathic oncology” practice

"Naturopathic oncology" is a specialty made up by naturopaths in order to justify using their quackery to treat cancer patients. A new survey takes it a step further and looks at using naturopathy to treat children with cancer, including the use of homeopathy, reiki, and restrictive diets.

/ October 7, 2019
Ezekiel Stephan's parents

Deconstructing Justice Terry Clackson’s outrageous acquittal of David and Collet Stephans for the death of their son Ezekiel

On September 19, in a retrial ordered by the Supreme Court of Canada, Alberta Justice Terry Clackson issued a ruling acquitting David and Collet Stephan of failing to provide the necessities of life to their son Ezekiel, whose bacterial meningitis they had chosen to treat with quackery instead of medicine, leading to his death in 2012. The news reports showed that this...

/ September 30, 2019

A world-renowned placebo researcher asks, “Does placebo research boost pseudoscience?”

Professor Fabrizio Benedetti is the most famous and almost certainly also the most influential researcher investigating the physiology of placebo effects. In a recent commentary, he asks whether placebo research is fueling quackery, as quacks co-opt its results. The answer to that question is certainly yes. A better question is: How do supporters of science counter the placebo narrative promoted by quacks,...

/ September 23, 2019

Federal “right-to-try” over a year later: Still a failure and still about the money (and weakening the FDA)

Federal "right-to-try" legislation was passed and signed into law by President Trump over a year ago. Advocates promised that lots of terminally ill people who were dying then would be saved by having the right to "try" experimental therapies outside of the context of clinical trials. That has not happened. This should come as no surprise, because right-to-try was never about getting...

/ September 16, 2019

The long, strange road to passing SB 276 appears to be near its end…finally

In 2015, California passed SB 277, which eliminated religious and personal belief exemptions to school vaccine mandates. Unfortunately, there was a problem; a weakness in the law allowed antivaccine quacks to help parents get around the law by writing medical exemptions not supported by science. The long strange battle to get SB 276, the law designed to close that loophole, reveals a...

/ September 9, 2019