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.

Aloe Vera

Many claims are made for the health benefits of aloe vera, used both topically and orally. The scientific evidence is lacking.

/ July 10, 2018

How Naturopaths Treat Heart Disease

Naturopaths claim to excel at preventing and treating cardiovascular disease. Their claims don't stand up to scrutiny. They co-opt from mainstream medicine, add non-evidence-based treatments, and fail to use effective drugs.

/ July 3, 2018

How We Believe

James Alcock's new book about belief is a masterpiece that explains how our minds work, how we form beliefs, and why they are so powerful. It amounts to a course in psychology and an owner's manual for the brain.

/ June 26, 2018

H.O.P.E.: A Movie Promoting Veganism

H.O.P.E., a movie promoting veganism, is short on science and long on appeals to emotion.

/ June 19, 2018

Do Sunscreens Cause Cancer?

Elizabeth Plourde thinks sunscreens cause cancer rather than preventing it. She blames sunscreens for everything from coral reef die-offs to autism. Neither her evidence nor her reasoning stand up to scrutiny.

/ June 12, 2018

Fake News about Fish Oil

An ad for the dietary supplement Omega Rejuvenol is disguised as a news story in my local newspaper. It makes claims that are not supported by evidence.

/ June 5, 2018

Mosconi’s Brain Food Diet

Mosconi offers a plan to prevent and treat Alzheimer's and maximize cognitive function in everyone. She claims brain health requires a unique diet, but she fails to make her case. Some of what she says is good standard health advice, but the rest is speculative, not based on good scientific evidence, and sometimes demonstrably wrong.

/ May 29, 2018

A Feast of Science

Dr. Joe Schwarcz's new book is a banquet of easily digested, fascinating information about chemistry, history, science, alternative medicine, critical thinking, and current trends. It entertains as it informs.

/ May 22, 2018

Reflex Integration Therapy

Various methods of reflex integration claim benefits for autism, ADHD, brain injuries, pain, and more. They are based on speculative ideas about retained primitive reflexes. They have not been scientifically tested.

/ May 15, 2018

Living Water

A device called Living Water will convert your tap water into acidic or alkaline water that supposedly is ionized and has antioxidant properties. There is no evidence that it offers any health benefits.

/ May 8, 2018