Category: Book & movie reviews

Can A One-Minute Cure Really Heal Virtually All Diseases?

The author of this book claims to have found a one-minute cure that will heal virtually all diseases. The claim is ludicrous, and is not supported by any evidence.

/ June 18, 2019

The Scientific Attitude, Not the Scientific Method, Is the Key

A philosopher of science argues that science is not characterized by a specific scientific method but by the scientific attitude. Scientists value empirical evidence and follow the evidence wherever it leads. They are open to changing their mind rather than stubbornly clinging to an ideological belief system.

/ May 7, 2019

Pseudoscience in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy

This new book addresses the neglected field of research on child and adolescent psychotherapy and does an excellent job of distinguishing treatments that have been proven to work from treatments that are based on pseudoscience.

/ April 30, 2019

Medical Apartheid

Harriet Washington's book tells the dark history of medical experimentation on black Americans. It also reveals broader problems of inequality, poor science, and human failures.

/ April 9, 2019

A Review of Under Our Skin, A Cult Classic

Under Our Skin is a propaganda film attempting to sell viewers dangerous treatments for 'chronic Lyme disease', a rejected diagnosis not recognized by any legitimate medical organization.

/ April 8, 2019

An HBO Documentary about the Theranos Fraud Raises Concerns

Elizabeth Holmes founded Theranos to develop a device that could do 200 tests on a single drop of blood in a minute. She lied; it failed; she is being tried for fraud and conspiracy. The HBO documentary The Inventor tells the story but has some flaws. We can learn lessons from what happened.

/ March 26, 2019

Brief Announcement: Price of Consumer Health Book Has Been Slashed

The price of the textbook Consumer Health: A Guide to Intelligent Decisions has been reduced to $9.99 on Amazon.

/ March 16, 2019

Homeopath Quits Homeopathy but Thinks the Homeopathic Approach Has Value

A former homeopath shows that there's nothing scientific about homeopathy; in fact, it contradicts all known scientific principles. Nevertheless she finds value in the homeopathic approach to the patient and thinks all providers can learn from it.

/ February 26, 2019

The Magic Feather Effect: Placebos and the Power of Belief in Alternative Medicine

In her book The Magic Feather Effect, journalist Melanie Warner covers placebo research, shows that alternative medicine is placebo medicine, takes a "try it yourself" approach, and gives belief and anecdotes more credit than they deserve.

/ February 19, 2019

Critical Thinking in Medicine

Cognitive Errors and Diagnostic Mistakes is a superb new guide to critical thinking in medicine written by Jonathan Howard. It explains how our psychological foibles regularly bias and betray us, leading to diagnostic mistakes. Learning critical thinking skills is essential but difficult. Every known cognitive error is illustrated with memorable patient stories.

/ January 15, 2019