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.

protandim

Protandim Update: New Studies and an FDA Warning Letter

Multilevel distributors of the dietary supplement Protandim think that evidence from scientific studies supports their claims for their product. The FDA disagrees.

/ May 9, 2017
Parents usually cherish and protect their children. But sometimes they cause them horrific suffering and let them die.

Medical Neglect of Children

Medical neglect caused horrific suffering for these children, ending in death or permanent impairment. Their parents failed them, but so did society.

/ May 2, 2017
sugar cubes

Gary Taubes and the Case Against Sugar

Gary Taubes writes that sugar is the cause of obesity and most chronic diseases. He makes a good case for the prosecution, but he doesn't convict.

/ April 25, 2017
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Vital Stem: Affordable Stem Cell Treatments for Everyone? Anti-Aging Breakthrough?

Vital Stem is a dietary supplement mixture that supposedly reverses the changes of normal aging by increasing the body's production of stem cells. We can't know if it works, because it hasn't been tested.

/ April 18, 2017
Siddhartha Mukherjee - PopTech 2010 - Camden, Maine _ Flickr

How Do Doctors Learn to Diagnose, and Can Machines Learn to Do It Too?

Siddhartha Mukherjee weighs in on how doctors arrive at a diagnosis and how computers can assist but not replace them.

/ April 11, 2017
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Treating Chronic Fatigue Syndrome with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Graded Exercise Therapy: How the PACE Trial Got It Wrong

The PACE trial found that cognitive behavioral therapy and graded exercise therapy were effective treatments for chronic fatigue syndrome and could produce recovery in 22% of patients. It seems they got it wrong.

/ April 4, 2017
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Stem Cells for Macular Degeneration: Meticulous Science vs. Unethical Carelessness

Rigorous scientists stabilized a patient’s macular degeneration with a cutting-edge stem cell treatment; less rigorous scientists misapplied stem cell science and left three women blind.

/ March 28, 2017
How likely is bacon to kill you?

Dietary Associations with Cardiovascular and Diabetic Mortality: “Bacon, soda, and too few nuts”?

A recent study attempted to quantify the association of ten dietary factors with deaths from cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Headlines about the study were misleading.

/ March 21, 2017
The four ages of man aging

Update on Testosterone Supplementation

Testosterone supplementation is a legitimate treatment for properly-diagnosed androgen deficiency, but it is being overprescribed by doctors who make exaggerated claims for it. New evidence clarifies its modest benefits and worrisome risks.

/ March 14, 2017
magnet

Magnets Provide Amusement, But Not Health Benefits

Static magnets have no health benefits, but the advertising can be quite entertaining.

/ March 7, 2017