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?
ICD-10 is an a standardized system of alphanumeric codes for diagnoses maintained by the World Health Organization used throughout the world for billing, epidemiology, research, and cataloging causes of death. Its successor, ICD-11, is nearing completion, and unfortunately appears to be taking the "integration" of traditional medicine to a whole new level by integrating quack diagnoses with real diagnoses.
Pulse diagnosis and tongue diagnosis are widely used in traditional Chinese medicine. They are based on imagination, not on anatomical and physiologic reality.
A preference to use CAM before seeking medical advice may be harming patients with inflammatory arthritis.
A new cupping fad using silicone devices is gentler than traditional cupping, but even sillier. There is no evidence of health benefits.
Evidence for the efficacy of Traditional Chinese Medicine is scanty, unconvincing, and often fraudulent. China is seeing a resurgence of TCM, even teaching it to children. But in Australia, restrictions are being placed on misleading advertising.
A recent article in Popular Science argues that medicine has a bias against acupuncture, holding it to a higher standard of evidence than conventional medical interventions. Even if there is a double standard, the answer is not to recommend acupuncture, but rather to stop recommending medical procedures that don't work.