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Exploring issues and controversies in the relationship between science and medicine
Updated: 5 hours 34 min ago

Gun Violence as a Public Health Issue

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 5:10am
Gun violence is a serious public health issue in America but is not getting the research that it deserves. This needs to change.
Categories: Science

A Cornucopia of Crislip

Tue, 02/20/2018 - 12:00am
Mark Crislip has written three books. They are full of wisdom, science-based thinking, and hilarious humor. Highly recommended.
Categories: Science

True believers, entrepreneurs, and scammers in alternative medicine

Mon, 02/19/2018 - 12:17am
In the online echo chamber promoting alternative medicine, there are varying degrees of deception. There are true believers (who are often victims), entrepreneurs (who are often true believers who found a profitable business), and scammers. The categories are not mutually exclusive.
Categories: Science

Inside Chiropractic: Yesteryear and Today

Fri, 02/16/2018 - 12:00am
In the 123 years since its inception, the core beliefs of the chiropractic profession have not changed. Chiropractic continues to exist as a form of alternative medicine that embraces a variety of questionable procedures and treatment methods. The chiropractic profession in the United States is still defined by the vertebral subluxation theory that gave it birth and independence as an alternative to conventional medical care. Chiropractors resist changes that would allow development of their profession as a conservative back-care specialty.
Categories: Science

Cleveland Clinic genetic experts call out functional medicine on worthless genetic testing and supplement prescribing

Wed, 02/14/2018 - 10:00pm
Cleveland Clinic genetics experts call out functional medicine on worthless genetic testing and dietary supplement prescribing: "Poor science, leading to even worse medicine."
Categories: Science


Wed, 02/14/2018 - 5:16am
For most people, common health goals are best approached with as simple a strategy as possible. This avoids cognitive overload and non-compliance. Get the basics right as there is diminishing returns from increasing arcane details.
Categories: Science

Answering Our Critics – Again!

Tue, 02/13/2018 - 12:00am
Critics of Science-Based Medicine keep making the same old tired arguments, despite the fact that their arguments have been repeatedly demolished. Here is a list of recurrent memes, with counterarguments.
Categories: Science

Quackademic medicine and the delusion of being “science-based”

Mon, 02/12/2018 - 12:52am
Last week, I was interviewed by the a reporter from the Georgetown student newsletter about its integrative medicine program. It got me to thinking how delusion that one's work is science-based can lead to collaborations with New Age "quantum" mystics like Deepak Chopra.
Categories: Science

The 2018 Flu Epidemic: Hives and other Influenza Related Nonsense

Fri, 02/09/2018 - 4:58am
While it isn't likely to be the flumaggedon, it is shaping up to be a really bad flu season. Unfortunately there is a lot of overzealous news coverage that I fear is causing more anxiety among parents than is warranted.
Categories: Science

Anti-vaccine sentiment associated with belief in conspiracy theories

Thu, 02/08/2018 - 6:00am
A recent survey examined the relationship between opposition to vaccines, belief in conspiracy theories, and other factors. The results suggest that we may need to modify how we address concerns about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.
Categories: Science

What Not To Write in an E-mail to SBM

Wed, 02/07/2018 - 5:27am
What to do, and what not to do, when sending a critical e-mail to SBM or elsewhere - assuming you want to be taken seriously.
Categories: Science

MyMedLab Offers Expensive, Useless, Nonstandard Lab Tests

Tue, 02/06/2018 - 12:00am
Direct to consumer lab testing is good marketing but not good medicine. For instance, there is no reason to spend $199 to measure glyphosate levels in your blood.
Categories: Science

Death by Gardasil? Not so fast there…

Mon, 02/05/2018 - 12:33am
There is a type of "vaccine injury" story promoted by the antivaccine movement that is particularly pernicious, a narrative I call "death by Gardasil." The stories, which use tenuous connections between vaccination against HPV to prevent cervical cancer and the unexpected death of a teen or young adult, are always tragic, and you can't help but feel incredible empathy for the parents. However, none of these stories constitute compelling evidence that Gardasil kills young people. Basically, antivaxers exploit the grief of these parents and their understandable desire to find a cause for their child's demise to demonize HPV vaccinations as dangerous and deadly.
Categories: Science

Kennedy, Fisher and Bigtree: a triple dose of anti-vaccine injected into upcoming chiropractic conference

Wed, 01/31/2018 - 10:00pm
Even as the flu rages, chiropractors will be stoking their anti-vaccination ideology at a March conference with speeches from anti-vaxx Illuminati Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Barbara Loe Fisher and Del Bigtree.
Categories: Science

Vision Therapy Quackery

Wed, 01/31/2018 - 5:29am
Behavioral optometry claims to treat a wide range of disorders, including learning difficulty and attention problems. But these claims are not based on solid scientific ground, and are not supported by rigorous evidence.
Categories: Science

Broken Brain

Tue, 01/30/2018 - 12:00am
In his new video series, Dr. Mark Hyman says your brain is broken and functional medicine can fix it. He mixes conventional healthy lifestyle advice with highly questionable claims and recommendations based on speculation rather than on evidence.
Categories: Science

The effort of integrative medicine advocates to co-opt the opioid crisis to claim non pharmacological treatments for pain as solely theirs continues apace

Mon, 01/29/2018 - 12:34am
Last week, I wrote about how advocates for quackery were trying and succeeding to persuade state Medicaid agencies to pay for acupuncture for pain. This week, I discuss how they are promoting the integration of quackery with medicine. In this case, they are promoting a white paper and trying to influence the AHRQ.
Categories: Science

Rabies Claims the Life of a 6-Year-Old Florida Child: The Tragic Case of Ryker Roque

Fri, 01/26/2018 - 5:00am
Rabies is an incredibly deadly infection, but one that is virtually 100% preventable. Unfortunately a Florida child recently paid the ultimate price when his parents failed to seek out appropriate medical care for a bat bite, and despite an experimental but flawed treatment protocol.
Categories: Science

Georgian College’s Homeopathy Program: Magical Thinking Presented as Fact

Thu, 01/25/2018 - 6:00am
Georgian College in Ontario, Canada is now offering a 3-year advanced diploma in the pseudoscience of homeopathy.
Categories: Science

Mental Illness Denial

Wed, 01/24/2018 - 9:13am
This is really hard, and we have limited knowledge, but we have accumulated enough to take a practical approach to many patients and to help them improve their lives. This should include the full range of options available, including medication and counseling. To deny the role of medication can do great harm to those who may need it.
Categories: Science