Category: Medical Academia

For-profit stem cell clinics, universities, and “pay-to-play” clinical trials for autism

Stem cell therapies show great promise, but as yet the vast majority of that promise has not been validated in rigorous clinical trials. Unfortunately, for-profit stem cell clinics are running clinical trials that require patients to pay to be part of it. These trials are not rigorous. Even more unfortunately, it appears that some universities are also running "pay-to-play" clinical trials that...

/ July 29, 2019
Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities inducts Yehuda Shoenfeld

The Israeli Academy of Sciences and Humanities elects antivaxer Yehuda Shoenfeld to its ranks

Yehuda Shoenfeld is an Israeli scientist who has promoted the idea that adjuvants in vaccines cause ASIA, Autoimmunity/Autoinflammation Syndrome Induced by Adjuvants, a vaguely defined catch-all diagnosis that encompasses vague symptomatology and unproven links to certain autoantibodies, all caused by adjuvants in vaccines, especially aluminum. Last week, Shoenfeld was elected to the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, an embarrassment to the...

/ July 1, 2019

Is Dentistry Science Based?

A recent article in The Atlantic claims that dentistry is not science-based. Is it right? Nah.

/ May 17, 2019

Are placebo effects genetically determined?

We frequently write about placebo effects here at SBM because understanding placebo effects is essential to understanding a lot of clinical trial science and, most relevant to the topics of this blog, how those promoting unscientific medicine misunderstand and misuse placebo effects to promote quackery. Last week, The NYT published an article asking if placebo effects are genetically determined. The evidence supporting...

/ November 12, 2018
Homeopathy, naturopathy, and acupuncture at the University of Michigan

The Integrative Oncology Scholars Program: Indoctrinating the next generation of “integrative oncology” believers

"Integrative oncology" involves "integrating" pseudoscience, mysticism, and quackery with science-based oncology and co-opting science-based lifestyle modalities as "alternative" in order to provide cover for the quackery. Unfortunately, my alma mater, funded by the National Cancer Institute, is running a course to indoctrinate 100 health care professionals in the ways of "integrative oncology." The Trojan horse of "lifestyle interventions" and "nonpharmacologic treatments for...

/ October 22, 2018

A whole issue of JACM devoted to “integrative oncology” propaganda? Oh, goody.

Last week, The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine published a Special Focus Issue on "integrative oncology." In reality, it's propaganda that promotes pseudoscience and the "integration" of quackery into oncology.

/ October 1, 2018
Homeopathy, naturopathy, and acupuncture at the University of Michigan

Confronting homeopathy, naturopathy, homeopathy, and other quackademic medicine at my alma mater

Several years back, I was forced to confront quackery at my alma mater in the form of an anthroposophic medicine program at the University of Michigan. The situation has deteriorated since then, as now the Department of Family Medicine there is inviting homeopaths to give talks and teaching acupuncture as credulously as any acupuncturist. Will the disease metastasize to other departments in...

/ August 27, 2018
Acupuncture needles

So-Called Alternative Medicine

Edzard Ernst calls it "So-Called Alternative Medicine". This insider's view of SCAM is a new book from an prolific researcher and author.

/ June 14, 2018
Microscope

Science-based medicine versus other ways of knowing

It has been our position that science is the most effective means of determining medical treatments that work and whose benefits outweigh their risks. Those who promote pseudoscientific or prescientific medicine, however, frequently appeal to other ways of knowing, often ancient knowledge from other cultures and pointing out deficiencies in SBM to justify promoting their treatments. Do their justifications hold water?

/ June 11, 2018
Avalanche

Another pebble in the quackademic integrative avalanche

We've documented the infiltration of quackery into academic medicine through the "integration" of mystical and prescientific treatment modalities into medicine. Here, we look at a pebble in the quackademic avalanche. Is it too late for the pebbles to vote?

/ April 9, 2018