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 Ethics of CAM: More Harm than Good?

A new book examines the ethics of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM). Ernst and Smith demonstrate that CAM is inherently unethical and does more harm than good.

/ March 20, 2018

Coca’s Pulse Testing to Diagnose “Allergies”

In the 1950s, Dr. Arthur F. Coca invented an elaborate method to diagnose a new kind of "allergy" by testing the pulse rate. He thought "allergies" were the underlying cause of most disease. His method has never been tested, but there is every reason to think it is bogus.

/ March 13, 2018

The Debate Is Over: Antidepressants DO Work Better Than Placebo

The idea that antidepressants are no more effective than placebo has been put to rest. They clearly work when used appropriately, although the effect size is not as large as the published studies have suggested.

/ March 6, 2018

Chiropractor Lost His License; Patient Lost Her Uterus

Practicing after he lost his license, chiropractor Nicholas LeRoy used escharotics to treat a woman's cervical dysplasia. As result, she lost her uterus. Ex-naturopath Britt Hermes was taught to use escharotic treatments at Bastyr; she has since realized that they are "unproven, dangerous, and very stupid."

/ February 27, 2018

A Cornucopia of Crislip

Mark Crislip has written three books. They are full of wisdom, science-based thinking, and hilarious humor. Highly recommended.

/ February 20, 2018

Answering Our Critics – Again!

Critics of Science-Based Medicine keep making the same old tired arguments, despite the fact that their arguments have been repeatedly demolished. Here is a list of recurrent memes, with counterarguments.

/ February 13, 2018

MyMedLab Offers Expensive, Useless, Nonstandard Lab Tests

Direct to consumer lab testing is good marketing but not good medicine. For instance, there is no reason to spend $199 to measure glyphosate levels in your blood.

/ February 6, 2018

Broken Brain

In his new video series, Dr. Mark Hyman says your brain is broken and functional medicine can fix it. He mixes conventional healthy lifestyle advice with highly questionable claims and recommendations based on speculation rather than on evidence.

/ January 30, 2018

Fake News About Margarine

An alarmist email is circulating with misinformation about margarine. A little fact-checking shows that both margarine and butter can be part of a healthy diet.

/ January 23, 2018

The Elephant in the Compounding Pharmacy

Contaminated products from compounding pharmacies have harmed and even killed patients. Quality control measures are being implemented, but there is a bigger problem: the injudicious use of untested and potentially dangerous treatments.

/ January 16, 2018