Category: Science and Medicine

California Acupuncturists Don’t Need to Know English!

English proficiency is not a necessary precursor to becoming a contributing citizen in California’s economy and should not be used by the Board to discriminate against talented and skilled individuals who seek to provide high-quality acupuncture services in California. — State Senators Curren D. Price Jr. and Darrell Steinberg, letter to the California Acupuncture Board, March 22, 2013. To appreciate the recklessness...

/ September 1, 2013

The Trojan Horse called Integrative Medicine arrives at another medical school

Medicine is a collaborative practice. Hospitals are the best example, where dozens of different health professionals work cooperatively, sharing responsibilities for patient care. Teamwork is essential, and that’s why health professionals obtain a large part of their education on the job, in teaching (academic) hospitals. The only way that all of these different professions are able to work together effectively is that...

/ August 29, 2013

Survey Says… Infectious Disease Docs and CAM

Surveys are evidently a popular way to get a paper published. Put “complementary alternative medicine survey” into Pubmed and get 2,353 hits. I would have trouble coming up with a hundred groups about whom I would be interested in their use of SCAMs, but I tend to be a lumper rather than a splitter. But if you want to know about SCAM...

/ August 23, 2013
Yes, it's true that placebos are just as powerful as homeopathy. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean what believers in integrative medicine think it does.

A Different Perspective: Placebo, SCAM, and Advertising

Summertime, time, time Child, the living’s easy. Fish are jumping out And the handicap, Lord Handicaps high, Lord so high ~ Janis Joplin It is summer. Time for the kids and the outside, not the computer. What follows is a summertime blog entry, for which I admit to feeling guilty for the comparatively little time I have spent on it, but as...

/ August 9, 2013

Irlen Syndrome

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. – George Santayana Science-based medicine is more than a set of methods or certain philosophy of medicine – it is an entire approach to what should be the core questions for any interventionist profession: is it real and does it work? These are often deceptively difficult questions to answer. Fortunately we...

/ August 7, 2013

“Postnatal depression blood test breakthrough” or Churnalism?

“Postnatal depression blood test breakthrough” proclaimed the headline. The UK Guardian article then declared: British doctors reveal ‘extremely important’ research that could help tens of thousands of women at risk. Here it comes. Readers were going to be fed a press release generated by the study’s authors and forwarded undigested by the media but disguised as writings of a journalist.  If only...

/ August 2, 2013

The Overuse of Antibiotics for Viral Infections in Children

“For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.” -H. L. Mencken As I sit in an apartment full of unpacked boxes and grumpy children, only a few days removed from driving 1,600 miles to a 3rd floor walk-up and a better life just outside of Boston, I find the task of writing a post somewhat daunting....

/ August 2, 2013

Yoga Woo

Yoga is an increasingly popular form of exercise in the US. According to Yoga Journal more than 20 million Americans use yoga as their form of exercise. As a form of exercise yoga is fairly straightforward, involving stretching and holding poses that strengthen muscles. It also carries the generic benefits of any exercise in terms of calorie-burning and cardiovascular health. Yoga, however,...

/ July 31, 2013

Religion and SCAM

I do not worry much about being dead although the process of getting there gives me pause. I have witnessed a few unpleasant deaths and I hope to never see the Grim Reaper coming my way. One of the more awful and pointless deaths occurred early in my career. I had a patient with hepatitis C and cirrhosis. He had low platelets,...

/ July 26, 2013

Researching SBM Online

The internet is a fabulous resource of information. It is one of those technological innovations for which you soon can no longer imagine how you lived without it. I certainly cannot imagine a project like science-based medicine prior to the web. The web, however, is also a tremendous source of misinformation, opinion, and ideology. Also the volume of information, good and bad,...

/ July 17, 2013