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.

The Recipe for Making Stupid Videos

A promotional video for a prostate remedy could serve as a template for deceptive videos about dietary supplements. All marketing, no science, and plenty of red flags.

/ August 4, 2020
Don't shoot him. He's just relaying a message.

Shooting the Messenger: Activists Persecute Scientists Whose Findings They Don’t Like

Alice Dreger's book recounts many instances of shooting the messenger, when scientists were persecuted for research findings that activists found objectionable. Social justice matters, but it should rely on science and reality, not ideology.

/ July 28, 2020

TENS for Pain Relief: Does It Work?

TENS units are used to relieve pain and for other indications. The evidence is not impressive.

/ July 21, 2020

Juvent:  Space Age Technology to Achieve Total Health?

Juvent is a small vibrating platform that is advertised to provide all kinds of health benefits for everyone by just standing on it for 10 minutes a day. They have no convincing evidence and the price is exorbitant.

/ July 14, 2020

Dry Drowning

What is dry drowning, and should we worry?

/ July 7, 2020

New Drugs for Sickle Cell Disease: Small Benefit, Large Price

The FDA has approved two new drugs to treat sickle cell disease. They don’t do much, and they are prohibitively expensive.

/ June 30, 2020

Dr. Seeds’ Chill Pills

Dr. Seeds sells a Chill Pill to treat stress and anxiety. There's no scientific evidence.

/ June 23, 2020

Bad advertising for UPGRAID

UPGRAID combines a new formulation of turmeric (curcumin) with 3 other ingredients. It is said to be more bioavailable and to offer unique advantages. The advertising is bad, and can't compensate for a lack of evidence.

/ June 16, 2020

Should We Avoid Dairy Out of Fear of Cancer?

A doctor is adamant about avoiding dairy because IGF-1 allows cancer cells to multiply. I think he's relying on speculation and an over-abundance of caution.

/ June 9, 2020

No, Everything You Thought You Knew About Disease Is Not Wrong

The authors of this book are not doctors or scientists, but they try to convince readers that science-based medicine gets it all wrong, that germs don't cause disease, and that drugs and vaccines can't possibly work. No, the book gets it all wrong.

/ June 2, 2020