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.

Reader’s Digest Promotes Prevagen

Reader's Digest is advertising a memory aid, Prevagen, that has been tested and shown not to work. Shame on them!

/ December 4, 2018

Should Evidence-Based Medicine Be Replaced by Interpersonal Medicine?

An opinion piece in the New England Journal of Medicine complains about the limitations of evidence-based medicine (EBM) and recommends a new approach they call "interpersonal medicine." In my opinion, good clinical medicine is already interpersonal medicine; there is no need for something new.

/ November 27, 2018

Leaky Brain, Leaky Gut: Are They Real?

First there was leaky gut; now there’s leaky brain. These questionable concepts are being promoted by practitioners of so-called “functional medicine.”

/ November 20, 2018

Molecular Phylogenetics: A New Way to Tell the Story of Evolution

The new science of molecular phylogenetics tells the story of evolution with no need to consult the fossil record. It has produced some surprises, including a whole new domain of life, the archaea.

/ November 13, 2018

Human Flaws Demonstrate Evolution, Not Intelligent Design

The human body is clearly not the product of an intelligent designer. Its many flaws tell the fascinating story of evolution's accidents and constraints.

/ November 6, 2018

Gold Water, Silver Water, Copper Water

Ayurveda recommends gold water, silver water, and copper water to treat various conditions. There is no evidence that they work or even that they contain gold, silver, or copper.

/ October 16, 2018

AAFP Promotes Acupuncture

The AAFP is not following its own standards for CME. Its monograph on Musculoskeletal Therapies devotes 1/4 of its content to acupuncture, dry needling, and cupping; and one of its four "key practice recommendations" is to consider electroacupuncture for fibromyalgia.

/ October 9, 2018

More About Flu Vaccine

More evidence that flu shots work, that they are safe during pregnancy, and that they don't cause autism.

/ October 2, 2018

Flu Shots: It’s That Time Again

Flu shots are safe and effective. They not only protect the recipient but others in the community who are more vulnerable. Get your flu shot!

/ September 25, 2018

Rapid-onset Gender Dysphoria and Squelching Controversial Evidence

A flawed study suggested that rapid onset gender dysphoria around the time of puberty might be a result of peer pressure and media influence. It raised some important questions, but Brown University succumbed to pressure from activists and removed it from its website

/ September 18, 2018