Voice of Reason Dr. Val Jones joins Science-Based Medicine

We at Science-Based Medicine are very happy to announce that Dr. Val Jones will be joining us this week as a regular blogger. Her first post will appear this Thursday, October 9.

Val Jones, M.D. is the President and CEO of Better Health, PLLC, a health education company devoted to providing scientifically accurate health information to consumers. Most recently she was the Senior Medical Director of Revolution Health, a consumer health portal with over 120 million page views per month in its network. Prior to her work with Revolution Health, Dr. Jones served as the founding editor of Clinical Nutrition & Obesity, a peer-reviewed e-section of the online Medscape medical journal. Dr. Jones is also a consultant for Elsevier Science, ensuring the medical accuracy of First Consult, a decision support tool for physicians.

Dr. Jones was born in Greenwich, Conn., and raised in Nova Scotia, Canada. She completed her bachelor’s degree at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and a master’s degree at Dallas Theological Seminary in Texas. She also participated in several research projects in biomedical imaging and vaccine research at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

She graduated from medical school at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City and was a regular contributor to the medical student section of the Journal of the American Medical Association. She received a scholarship to conduct research in the department of plastic surgery at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, as well as did a summer research fellowship in pediatric surgery at the University of Southern California, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health. She also completed research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City in its Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Dr. Jones was the principal investigator of several clinical trials relating to sleep, diabetes and metabolism, and she won first place in the Peter Cyrus Rizzo III research competition.

Dr. Jones is the author of the popular blog, “Dr. Val and the Voice of Reason,” which won The Best New Medical Blog award in 2007. Her cartoons have been featured at Medscape, the P&S Journal, and the Placebo Journal. She was inducted as a member of the National Press Club in Washington, DC in July, 2008.

Dr. Jones has been quoted by various major media outlets, including USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, and the LA Times. She has been a guest on over 20 different radio shows, and was featured on CBS News.

As you will see beginning Thursday, Dr. Jones provides a viewpoint we have not yet had here at SBM in that she was initially indifferent to the infiltration of non-science-based medicine into respected institutions but was forced to confront the problem when it unexpectedly reared its ugly head in her life. We will let her tell her story herself, however, and are confident that you will soon see why we asked her to join SBM. Suffice it to say that she now understands more than most how unscientific medical modalities gain traction in the media.

Finally, this is not the end. Now that SBM has become established, we have concluded that it is time to bring on new bloggers who can increase the quantity and quality of our content, as well as fill in holes in our expertise that may exist. Consequently, over the last few weeks, we have been seeking new medical bloggers who are of a similar mind to ours when it comes to the importance of science as the basis for medicine, and Dr. Jones will be the first of what we hope will be a new wave. Two more excellent bloggers will be joining us the week of October 13. In the tradition of “leaving ‘em wanting more,” however, we will hold off on an official announcement until later this week.

Posted in: Announcements

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14 thoughts on “Voice of Reason Dr. Val Jones joins Science-Based Medicine

  1. daijiyobu says:



  2. Econ112 says:

    I just read the book free to choose by milton friedman and it says that the reason doctors get high salaries isn’t because of their competence but because they restrict competition on the supply side through licensure and medical schools. The rise of chiropractic and osteopathy has no doubt been a reaction towards circumventing the restrictions created by the medical establishment. Thus since no free market exists, there is going to be inefficiency and costs will elevate.

    I wonder what would happen if we applied the medical model of licensing physicians to workers who program computers and work with technology.

    What if there were an American Technological Association that demanded in order for workers to enter the field of computer programming it made them go through 4 years of college, 4 years of computer school and then 4 years of residency working with computers and then made them pass computer board exams before they are allowed to start working with computers. I’m sure we would find this to be ridiculous or else you boys wouldn’t be able to use wordpress technology to create your blog.

    Oh well. I’m sure you guys know all this because the reason why problems happen isn’t because of a lack of information. :/

  3. Michelle B says:

    Most excellent.

  4. Mark Crislip says:

    reason PILOTS get high salaries isn’t because of their competence but because they restrict competition on the supply side through licensure and FLIGHT EXPERIENCE. Thus since no free market exists, there is going to be inefficiency and costs will elevate.

    I wonder what would happen if we applied the COMPUTER PROGAMMER model TO PILOTS.

  5. Econ112 says:

    Are you saying that everybody has to go through an insanely long certification process to fly that would take 8+ years or so? Because the people who were behind Sept 11. (as horrible as their actions may be) proved us wrong on that one.

    Because if it takes you 8+ years to learn how to tell a nurse to take a blood test so that malpractice doesn’t occur, I wonder what the learning capacities of the human brain really are and if we the species are just getting dumber in general.

  6. Mark Crislip says:

    a) if they worked for United, they failed the landing
    b) you summarized my job and 25 years of training so perfectly I have nothing to add. Thank you.

  7. mindme says:


    When we want things to be as safe as possible, that adds costs. For example, prescription drugs are expensive because the public demands very safe and effective drugs and the drug companies deliver safe(er) drugs by putting in place very expensive procedures (drug trials).

    We also want doctors who are competent(er). We get those by putting into place all the things you describe. These have the EFFECT of restricting supply and increasing costs but one should not read into that the INTENT to restrict supply. Just as drugs are costly because of added steps to make them safer, doctors are more costly because of steps to satisfy, ultimately, the public about their level of competence.

    A bad programmer generally doesn’t kill someone. A bad doctor does and when they do the public demands of politicians to save them from the menace.

    (I do remember before Y2K attending a talk by a famous software developer who wrote a famous book about good programming techniques. He was afraid if Y2K blew up in everyone’s face, programmers would be under intense public and political scrutiny and might even be made fun of by the media. And you can bet if Y2K did lead to meltdowns, politicians might well just start demanding the American Technological Association scenario you laid out.)

  8. opcn says:

    Econ112, ironically as it turns out this is one burn that a chiropractor can treat just as well as a real doctor.

  9. Will says:

    Econ112, your 911 analogy is flawed. First, the hijackers did not take off, or land, which are considered some of the most difficult aspects of flying. They were also not highly skilled, as passengers complained of the plane making sudden movements, and a lack of stability. Finally, for those who actually flew the planes, they were all certified pilots. They had spent countless hours in flight simulators.

    Reference: The 9/11 Commission Report, Chapter 1.

  10. Lzrd says:

    Computer Programming (what do you even mean by that? Software? Drivers?) is largely a “slap it together, refine it to working condition later” industry. I wouldn’t want my doctors to just kinda sorta sew me back together after surgery, and spend fortunes on projects that just keep getting longer and longer. If the timelines of surgeries and programming projects were in the same proportions, an average surgery would take over twice as long as they do now. And just to take the analogy to a ridiculous extreme, most or all of the staff would change during the surgery and many surgeries would have to be called off halfway through when it’s dragged on too long to be profitable.

    Sounds like a good plan to me.

  11. And just to take the analogy to a ridiculous extreme, most or all of the staff would change during the surgery

    They actually do this in some European countries with strict work hour restrictions. If the surgery runs past, say, 4 PM, the night team, including the night team of surgeons, takes over wherever the operation happens to be.

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