All posts by Harriet Hall

Harriet Hall, MD also known as The SkepDoc, is a retired family physician who writes about pseudoscience and questionable medical practices. She received her BA and MD from the University of Washington, did her internship in the Air Force (the second female ever to do so),  and was the first female graduate of the Air Force family practice residency at Eglin Air Force Base. During a long career as an Air Force physician, she held various positions from flight surgeon to DBMS (Director of Base Medical Services) and did everything from delivering babies to taking the controls of a B-52. She retired with the rank of Colonel.  In 2008 she published her memoirs, Women Aren't Supposed to Fly.

Appendicitis: Surgical vs. Medical Treatment

Surgery or antibiotics for appendicitis? This new study can help with the decision.

/ November 24, 2020

When Doctors Refuse to Believe Evidence

Paul Offit's new book covers the evidence for many surgeries, medications, and screening tests that have been proven ineffective and harmful yet are still being used by doctors who refuse to follow the science.

/ November 17, 2020

Jumping the Gun: Antibody Drugs for Covid-19

Why did the US government promise to buy a product that had failed testing?

/ November 10, 2020

Biofield Tuning: Another Example of Tooth Fairy Science

Biofield tuning uses tuning forks to assess the health of clients. This study of inter-rater agreement is a prime example of Tooth Fairy science.

/ November 3, 2020

Ian Harris on “Surgery, the Ultimate Placebo”

Ian Harris explains that more than half of commonly performed surgical operations may be placebos. Adequate studies using a blinded control group are essential.

/ October 27, 2020

The McDougall Diet

Dr. McDougall is a maverick who disagrees with most experts. He recommends a high starch, low fat diet with no dairy or animal foods and other prohibitions. Its severe restrictions make it nutritionally questionable and it has never been properly tested in a controlled study.

/ October 20, 2020

Dr. Oz Allegedly Selling CBD

Ads selling CBD oil feature Dr. Oz and other celebrities, but Oz warns that he never endorses products, and that ads using his name or image are fraudulent.

/ October 13, 2020

The Evidence for Hydrogen Water

Alex Tarnava sells Drink HRW Rejuvenation tablets. The evidence for the health benefits of drinking hydrogen water is not convincing.

/ October 6, 2020
This Indian lawyer eats glass for fun. Not recommended.

Ground Glass Is Not a Poison

Some people think you can murder someone by putting ground glass in their food. That's a myth.

/ September 29, 2020

Edzard Ernst Tackles Chiropractic

Edzard Ernst's new book is a handy, comprehensive reference for all things chiropractic.

/ September 22, 2020