Results for: screening

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Screening Tests – Cumulative Incidence of False Positives

It’s easy to think of medical tests as black and white. If the test is positive, you have the disease; if it’s negative, you don’t. Even good clinicians sometimes fall into that trap. Based on the pre-test probability of the disease, a positive test result only increases the probability by a variable amount. An example: if the probability that a patient has...

/ June 30, 2009

Ultrasound Screening: Misleading the Public

There is a new industry offering preventive health screening services direct to the public. A few years ago it was common to see ads for whole body CT scan screening at free-standing CT centers. That fad sort of faded away after numerous organizations pointed out that there was considerable radiation involved and the dangers outweighed any potential benefits. Now what I most commonly...

/ March 4, 2008
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The American Chiropractic Association Answers Crislip’s Call, Joins the Choosing Wisely Campaign

The Choosing Wisely campaign has invited the largest chiropractic organization in the United States to publish a list of interventions to avoid. The results, while not entirely without merit, consist of redundant or unnecessary recommendations. And there is a glaring absence of recommendations to avoid any of the blatant pseudoscience commonly practiced by chiropractors.

/ November 3, 2017
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Mainstream Doctors Actually Do What CAM Claims They Don’t

Alternative medicine proponents criticize mainstream medicine and think they can do better. Evidence from medical journals shows that their criticisms are not valid.

/ October 24, 2017
UCI Susan and Henry Samueli College of Health Sciences

UC-Irvine, integrative medicine, and the delusion of being “science-based”

Last month, a billionaire couple, Susan and Henry Samueli, announced a $200 million gift to UC-Irvine to found the Susan and Henry Samueli College of Health Sciences, which will be devoted to integrative medicine and studying "unconventional" treatments. Its founders promise that it will be rigorously science-based in articles in a large, glossy magazine. There are many reasons for doubts about this...

/ October 23, 2017
Dr. Andy Wakefield photographed at home in Austin, Texas. Wakefield is a physician best known for his controversial work on autism.  (Photo by David Howells/Corbis via Getty Images)

The Pathological Optimist: More hagiography than documentary about Andrew Wakefield

The Pathological Optimist is a recently released documentary by Miranda Bailey about Andrew Wakefield that I got a chance to see. In interviews and in the film's promotional materials, Bailey takes great pains to emphasize that she "doesn't take a side" about Wakefield. Unfortunately, her film demonstrates that, when it comes to pseudoscience, "not taking a side" is taking a side, and...

/ October 9, 2017
Cholesterol le grand bluff

The Movie “Cholesterol: The Great Bluff” Is an Exercise in Denialism

The movie "Cholesterol: The Great Bluff" claims that we have been lied to: cholesterol doesn't cause heart disease and statins are harmful. It is biased and misleading. The people interviewed in the movie are denialists who don't accept the clear evidence for the role of blood cholesterol levels and the benefits of statins.

/ September 12, 2017
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Another Child Harmed by Pseudomedicine: Lead Poisoning from a “Homeopathic Healing” Bracelet

The CDC has published a report on yet another child harmed by exposure to a caregiver's belief in quackery...and the toxic level of lead found in a "homeopathic" teething bracelet.

/ September 8, 2017
Chemotherapy Patient

Alternative medicine kills cancer patients

By definition, alternative medicine has not been shown to be effective or has been shown to be ineffective. Thus, alternative medicine is ineffective against cancer and can best be represented as either no treatment at all or potentially harmful treatment. It is thus not surprising that cancer patients who choose alternative medicine have a higher risk of dying from their cancer. A...

/ August 14, 2017
Right-to-try

The cruel sham of “right-to-try” takes a giant step towards becoming federal law

So-called “right-to-try” is a cruel sham that holds out the false hope of survival to terminally ill patients and their families. In return, all they have to give up is patient protections and agree to pay to be guinea pigs to test a drug company’s product. The product of an ideology that uses the terminally ill as shields to hide the ideological...

/ August 5, 2017