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.

Taopatch Offers Everything… Except Science

Taopatch promises all kinds of vague benefits, but the mechanism of action is implausible and what they call scientific proof is no such thing.

/ September 1, 2020

“(Un)Well:” Netflix’s Documentary Series Is Poor Journalism That Neglects Science

The (Un)Well documentary series on Netflix asks "Wellness: does it bring health and healing, or are we falling victim to false promises?" But instead of answers, it offers false balance and confusion.

/ August 25, 2020

The Hallelujah Diet

The Hallelujah Diet is said to be supported by both the Bible and by science. Neither is true.

/ August 18, 2020

Visual Stress

The Opticalm Clinic claims to diagnose and treat visual stress with colored lenses and other aids. Visual stress is a poorly defined, questionable condition and Opticalm's claims are not backed by scientific evidence.

/ August 11, 2020

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