Articles

Looking for quackademic medicine in all the wrong places

One advantage of having a blog is that I can sometimes tap into the knowledge of my readers to help me out. As many readers know, a few of the SBM bloggers (myself included) will be appearing at the Northeast Conference on Science and Skepticism (NECSS) on Saturday, April 17. Since the topic of our panel discussion is going to be the infiltration of quackademic medicine into medical academia, I thought that now would be a very good time for me to update my list of medical schools and academic medical centers in the U.S. and Canada that have embraced (or at least decided to tolerate) quackademic medicine in their midst. After all, the list is over two years old and hasn’t been updated.

My list is long past due for an update, and I want to post that update right here, either right before or right after NECSS. But I need your help. Please peruse the previous roll of shame. Then either post here in the comments or e-mail to me any examples of quackademic medical programs in the U.S. and Canada (I’ll leave Europe to others better qualified to deal with it) that I may have missed. Equally important, if there are programs I listed before that no longer peddle woo, let me know that too, so that I can investigate and decide if I should remove the program from my list.

I’m particularly interested in the most egregious examples (although your submitting all examples is greatly appreciated). Yoga and meditation don’t bother me that much, for example. Neither do dietary studies, because diet and exercise are science-based medicine that have all too often been coopted by purveyors of woo. Homeopathy and reiki, on the other hand, do bother me. A lot. I’m also particularly interested in educational programs in CAM that are funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM).

Please help me construct the definitive list of academic programs in the U.S. and Canada that have adopted quackademic medicine.

Posted in: Announcements, Medical Academia

Leave a Comment (26) ↓

26 thoughts on “Looking for quackademic medicine in all the wrong places

  1. Chris says:

    You already have my local medical school on that list. The kicker is being located near Bastyr.

    What I have managed to do as a non-matriculated graduate student was to provide feedback on what to look for in a new dean for the School of Public Health. This is the same “School” that allowed Jennifer Jacobs to administer homeopathic sugar pills to kids with diarrhea in Central America. My submission to the academic dean head hunter group was that the new dean should kill unethical studies on third world children like what was done by Jacobs.

  2. Steve Packard says:

    Unfortunately, there has been a lot of pressure on the medical establishment, in a kind of political way, to embrace or at least accept these kind of practices as part of being “accepting” and “offering choices” and all that kind of thing. It’s made out to be an equal opportunity kind of thing or whatever and somehow narrow-minded to accept these as legitimate kinds of medical areas of study.

    I agree that things like Yoga, meditation and nutrition are all things that have some benefit, but it bothers me to think that they are being taught out of the context of good science-based biological theory.

    For example, with Yoga, the benefits may be relaxation, exercise to muscles, improving flexibility, reducing stress and so on. That’s all well and good, but if the discussion of yoga starts off with the presumption of some non-existent field of energy flowing through the body, then there’s already a problem, because it’s teaching the future care takers to look at the body and treat it using an inherently bunk theory.

    When I have a problem and I go to the doctor I want him (or her) to be thinking about obstructions to the flow of blood or lymphatic fluid but not to the flow of qi or karma or vital forces or any of that other woo.

    I don’t know what the answer is here to this whole push for these things. Part of it seems to be that patients believe that the practitioners of these quack treatments are offering them hope, giving them more time or something like that.

    That may very well be part of what needs to be tackled. Obviously doctors and health care professionals are very busy people and there’s a legitimate reason they try to get as many people taken care of as quickly as possible with their limited time.

    I do believe it would help a lot if MD’s were better versed in these practices and spent some more time with their patients, explaining it more like “I understand you’re frustrated that this treatment has not really shown the results we had hoped for. Regarding homeopathy, I really don’t think that’s worth your time to bother with, because it’s really all based on some concepts that have been rejected by medicine and they can’t even show any good evidence that it does anything. Lets talk about some other ways we can try to improve the medical treatments we’re offering”

    It might sound stupid or patronizing, but a real lot of people who go to the alternative side cite the lack of that kind of concerned yet honest counciling as being something they don’t get enough of.

  3. “For example, with Yoga, the benefits may be relaxation, exercise to muscles, improving flexibility, reducing stress and so on. That’s all well and good, but if the discussion of yoga starts off with the presumption of some non-existent field of energy flowing through the body, then there’s already a problem, because it’s teaching the future care takers to look at the body and treat it using an inherently bunk theory.”

    Sometimes in physical activities it’s helpful to use mental devises to visualize the pose, movement or position. I’ve done martial arts, yoga, ballet, tap, modern, jazz, tai chi and this is quite common in all of these pursuits. For instance in ballet an “invisible string is pulling you up by the tip of your head”. Actually, there’s no invisible string there ;) In yoga sometimes an instructor will say ‘visualize energy shooting out the tips of your fingers or imagine your toes rooting to the floor’.

    Actually, my MIL was just telling me a story about how every time she gets on the nordic track she mentally says “any tumors even thinking about growing, your not going to get me, you better go away, cause your not going to get me.” It’s her mantra and it seems to motivate her.

    So, generally I figure when someone is exercising, leave them to think or visualize the way that motivates or helps them most. Maybe best not to micro-manage the mental process.

    Of course a yoga instructor or tai chi instructor who is peddling herbs, acupuncture or other remedies is another matter.

    I’m in agreement, though that it’s a good idea for Doctor’s to use patient questions about CAM as a stepping off point to what’s bothering the patient about their current treatment and if it can be improved. I believe a listening and responsive Doctor is one of the best defenses against CAM.

  4. Kausik Datta says:

    Two things, David.

    (a) My one and only guest post here at SBM contains a list of schools involved in quackademic medicine (particularly one, a large one [wink!], that is not in your original list…)

    (b) In your original list, there was a mention of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (which was my institution in NY for 5 years) of the Yeshiva University. I followed that hyperlink, and found that it leads to the ‘Continuum Center for Health and Healing’ by a woman who has nothing to do with AECOM/YU. Rather, she is associated with the Department of Integrative Medicine of the Beth Israel Medical Center.

  5. DevoutCatalyst says:

    It’s unfortunate that yoga wants to be alternative, but that’s the turf they’ve chosen. Tai chi, likewise. I’ve done both, and man, some of those postures are anything but easy. They will indeed give you physical benefits. Now I’m a speed bag junkie, and we’re so mainstream, heck there were striking bag ads in The Lancet back in the 1800s. Medicine has long been into physical fitness, nothing CAM about it at all.

  6. JayHawkDoc says:

    Sigh.

    University of Kansas School of Medicine

    http://integrativemed.kumc.edu/ivvitaminc.htm

    Vitamin C infusions, Acupuncture and some not-as-woo-y stuff.

  7. JayHawkDoc says:

    Also participating in the in Chelation trial: http://nccam.nih.gov/health/chelation/studysite.htm#ks

  8. weing says:

    “I’ve done martial arts, yoga, ballet, tap, modern, jazz, tai chi and this is quite common in all of these pursuits. For instance in ballet an “invisible string is pulling you up by the tip of your head”. Actually, there’s no invisible string there ;) In yoga sometimes an instructor will say ‘visualize energy shooting out the tips of your fingers or imagine your toes rooting to the floor’.”

    I do martial arts and I agree that using your imagination to help you to get the movements and postures right is fine.
    Some people believe in the power of chi. To me, it’s all the power of imagination.

  9. David Gorski says:

    In your original list, there was a mention of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (which was my institution in NY for 5 years) of the Yeshiva University. I followed that hyperlink, and found that it leads to the ‘Continuum Center for Health and Healing’ by a woman who has nothing to do with AECOM/YU. Rather, she is associated with the Department of Integrative Medicine of the Beth Israel Medical Center.

    I’m afraid you are incorrect. Beth Israel is a major teaching hospital of AECOM/YU:

    http://www.bethisraelgme.org

    And AECOM lists the Health and Healing website as its integrative medicine website. For instance, look at this ad for an integrative medicine conference in 2012:

    http://www.imconsortium.org/prod/groups/ahc/@pub/@ahc/@cahcim/documents/asset/ahc_86297.pdf

    And here:

    http://www.imconsortium.org/members/home.html#NewYork

    Albert Einstein is a sponsor of several of the integrative medicine programs at Beth Israel:

    http://www.healthandhealingny.com/center/center_give.html
    http://www.healthandhealingny.com/professionals/medical.html
    http://www.healthandhealingny.com/center/images/staff_ehrlich.html

    I stand by my previous post. I’m not sure what the exact relationship between AECOM and the Continuum Center is, but there is clearly an academic affiliation; AECOM lists Continuum as its “integrative medicine” center; and Beth Israel is a major university hospital for AECOM/YU.

  10. Fifi says:

    DevoutCatalyst – “It’s unfortunate that yoga wants to be alternative, but that’s the turf they’ve chosen. Tai chi, likewise.”

    “wants”? What an odd way to think about it! Both yoga and Tai Chi are based on the premise that “chi” exists, it’s not exactly a “want” and it’s not actually about being “alternative” – it’s just what yoga is. Though, it’s entirely unnecessary to promote that aspect in regard to yoga (not sure about tai chi) and not all teachers do (some don’t at all and are actually very grounded in reality, though sadly they most often just tend to be retired aerobics teachers that are crappy yoga teachers because they miss the point of the practice and don’t actually know much science either). Yoga, traditionally, is meant to be a preparation for sitting meditation (which also explains things in terms of prana/chi, even if some schools actually have a very astute grasp of the tricks and illusions of subjectivity and brain/mind).

    There’s just as much woo (and more pseudoscience) in sports or forms of exercise that aren’t “alternative” – and even an irrational devotion to the practice at times – as there is in yoga. Running is rife with woo, as are weight training and myriad other “traditional” sports.

    Imagination plays a very large role in all kinds of sports and practices, as does the ability to focus. The key is discerning and recognizing the difference between what is imaginary and what is real, and not getting caught up in the woo explanations for why exercise makes us feel good (or what that feeling was, etc).

  11. Zetetic says:

    I’ve seen a few health care organizations appear to embrace alt med practices with a different objective. They actively converse and counsel with their patients about their altie involvement mostly to keep track of them with the idea of keeping them on track with the SBM treatments and preventing any untoward interactions between herbals and medications. However, even though their promotion of the practices is very passive, they still run the risk of adding legitimacy to the alt med practices.

  12. B Hitt says:

    A couple notes on my institution, Northwestern University, which has both NU Physicians Group and Children’s Memorial listed:

    Dr. Gorski’s original article said that none of the websites contained a skeptical word. Children’s Memorial Integrative Medicine’s site may be an exception:
    http://www.childrensmemorial.org/depts/integrated/overview.aspx
    Their section on research emphasizes that CAM must be held to the same standards as conventional medicine and concludes “Ultimately, good medicine must be useful and recommended based upon evidence and judgment, not on anecdotes or historical use.”
    HOWEVER, this is immediately followed by a description of their primary donor Judith Joy who is described as a “firm believer” in integrative medicine and an “advocate” for its use. I see two possibilities. Either 1) The center’s comments about their commitment to rigorously test CAM modalities in children and not simply support their use is merely lip service to appease skeptics, or 2) Joy’s generous donation was misguided. If you want to advocate the use of CAM, why support a center that might produce evidence that it is worthless.

    Secondly, our main hospital, NMH, which is affiliated with the Physician’s Group and their Integrative Medicine center is, despite being an academic medical center, known as a boutique hospital for rich people. It’s embarrassing and the Integrative Medicine website is not at all suprising (it makes it seem like a spa). Our medical school is in financial crisis and I sure hope none of our funds are supporting this woo.

  13. Kausik Datta says:

    David: Some clarifications on my part are in order. After reading your response, I dug a little deeper. The only connections of AECOM with the CAM stuff that I could find were these:

    1) One elective course in Family Medicine (FM5) – Complementary Therapies and Alternative Healing – offered by the Department of Family and Social Medicine (DFSM) at the Montefiore Medical Center: Tthe course description for this elective course does not inspire confidence, I admit.

    This elective will provide the student with an introduction to the philosophy of integrative medicine and a supervised exposure to complementary therapies and alternative healing methods in primary care settings (e.g. community health center and small practice). Among the therapies to be covered are meditation, relaxation techniques, acupuncture, acupressure, biofeedback, shiatsu massage, chiropractic, energy and herbal medicine.

    However, the course is administered by the Montefiore Residency Program in Social Medicine (Bronx, NY) which includes Beth Israel Family medicine Residency program (Manhattan, NY), Jamaica Hospital Family Medicine Residency Program (Jamaica, Queens), and Bronx Lebanon Medical Center (Bronx, NY).

    The link that the Beth Israel website mentions (that you pointed to in your reply) has the same reason behind it.

    The medical school is affiliated with five hospital centers: (a) Montefiore Medical Center, The Academic Medical Center and University Hospital of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine; (b) Beth Israel Medical Center, the University Hospital and Manhattan Campus for the Albert Einstein College of Medicine; (c) North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, the Manhasset and New Hyde Park campuses of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine; (d) Jacobi Medical Center; and the (e) Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center. It is also affiliated with three mental health facilities and four long-term care facilities.

    The hospital-associated programs, such as residency, mostly run themselves, and are just loosely academically associated with AECOM – though many faculties have dual appointments.

    The IM Consortium link (that you pointed to) is really link-whoring for the Beth Israel woo center; it is just operating under the banner of AECOM for increased credibility, which we know to be an SOP for CAM groups.

    2) In the person of one Dr. Ben Kligler: Dr. Kligler is the Vice Chair of the Department of Integrative Medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center. He is also an Associate Professor of FSM at AECOM, the Research Director of the Continuum Center for Health and Healing, and the Co-Director of the Beth Israel Fellowship Program in Integrative Medicine. Dr. Kligler is deeply immersed in woo; he is:

    the author of Curriculum in Complementary Therapies: A Guide for the Medical Educator, and co-editor of Integrative Medicine: Principles for Practice, a textbook published by McGraw-Hill in 2004. He is also Co-Editor-in-Chief of the peer-reviewed journal Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing. Dr. Kligler is certified in Ericksonian Hypnotherapy and acupuncture, and incorporates these and the use of botanical medicines into his primary care practice at the Center for Health and Healing.

    3) In the person of one Medina Byars: She is a Program Assistant, Einstein Enrichment Program, Office of Diversity Enhancement of the AECOM.

    In addition to Medina’s AECOM career, she became an Emergency Medical Technician and Certified Natural Health Professional. Medina graduated from the school of Integrative Medicine in 1993, earning Board Certification in Holistic Health Counseling. In 1994 she went to Everglades University in pursuit of a Bachelor of Science in Alternative Medicine. Since 1988 Medina Byars has owned Visions of Health, a consulting service that provides a holistic approach to wellness.

    4) In the body of a student group called ‘Students for Integrative Medicine’:

    As you see, AECOM – the College of Medicine involved in graduate and medical education – is not directly associated with any of the woo stuff. But I do admit, perhaps the spreading of woo ought to be better regulated.

  14. lippard says:

    The University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine should, of course, remain on your list. Andrew Weil’s still there as founder and director.

    Arizona State University’s College of Nursing and Health Innovation might deserve plaudits–it has a Center for the Advancement of Evidence-Based Practice, and a Center for Healthcare Innovation & Clinical Trials:
    http://nursingandhealth.asu.edu/caep/index.htm
    http://nursingandhealth.asu.edu/clinical-trials

    The only mention of acupuncture I found on the ASU website was in an ASU Nursing newsletter story about ASU nursing students working at the Las Fuentes Clinic in Guadalupe, which offers “acupuncture, chiropractic, naturopathic and traditional medicine.” The article says that the founder of the clinic says “offering both Western and folk medicines shows patients that the clinic understands and respects their cultural practices, making patients more receptive to a healthcare provider’s diagnosis and advice.”

    Similarly, I found one reference to homeopathy in a 2005 ASU Nursing newsletter (the one that announced Dean Melnyk’s arrival in charge of the ASU Nursing school–she’s behind the evidence-based practice center)–it’s a publication in Rheumatology by faculty member Carol Baldwin, who has multiple CAM publications, several involving homeopathy, listed in her faculty profile:

    https://webapp4.asu.edu/directory/person/725557

    Many are co-authored with Iris Bell of the University of Arizona, who Dr. Novella is familiar with from his 2007 homeopathy debate in Connecticut.

  15. David Gorski says:

    Sorry, Kausik. I realize you hate the idea that AECOM is in any way affiliated with woo, but you can’t separate Beth Israel and AECOM that easily. Beth Israel may not be owned by AECOM, and it may run some of its own independent residencies, but the link between it and AECOM is more than just “link whoring” and the academic affiliation does not appear to be as loose as you would like it to be. For one thing, Beth Israel is a primary teaching hospital of AECOM, its Manhattan university hospital. Moreover, in concert with AECOM Beth Israel offers an academic integrative medicine fellowship run by Raymond Teets, MD and Ben Kliger, MD, MPH:

    http://www.bifp-residency.org/clinicsitedocuments/ACADEMIC%20IM%20FELLOWSHIP.summary%20description.doc

    I think this shows that AECOM is directly associated with some of the woo stuff. It’s lending its good name and faculty to a woo fellowship, at the very minimum.

    I’m also going to disagree, because Ben Kliger is full faculty at AECOM, and his NCCAM-funded grant in woo is featured on the AECOM webpage:

    http://www.einstein.yu.edu/home//enewsletter/EnewsSection.asp?id=22&s=rrg

    You yourself point out that he is Vice Chair of the Department of Integrative Medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center. He is also an Associate Professor of Family and Social Medicine at AECOM, the Research Director of the Continuum Center for Health and Healing, and the Co-Director of the Beth Israel Fellowship Program in Integrative Medicine.

    I’m sorry, but AECOM can’t be dissociated from the woo that cleanly or easily. The connection may not be as direct as many other medical schools, but it is fairly prominent. My link still stands, as far as I’m concerned, unless AECOM formally dissociates itself from the woo at Beth Israel.

  16. Kausik Datta says:

    Damn, I was hoping against hope for a ‘say it ain’t so’ moment. But you are right, it does appear that AECOM, even if by association, does lend its name to certain woo-ey stuff.

    I am ashamed. I am very fond of AECOM, my first postdoc institution, and Bronx, NY, which I have called home for five long years.

    One does notice that many of these people actively propagating pseudoscientific nonsense are actually trained MDs, and one wonders where it all went wrong, why their training did not include critical thinking and analysis skills, why these trained physicians succumbed to the allure of handwaving, magical practices. What is it that motivates them? Is it the easy money? The lack of accountability? The power over the lives of vulnerable people?

    Surely, the satisfaction of successfully treating a patient to recovery with defined scientific approaches is much greater than just handing hapless patients some vacuous and lofty-sounding promises, or taking them through voodoo practices that even they must know doesn’t really work?

  17. moderation says:

    I was not sure if you just wanted schools and I know I have mentioned it before in comments, but please take note of the AAP Section on Complementary and Integrative Medicine. I have been to the AAFP web site , but have not found a similar group. Perhaps an actual AAFP member has more access than I do.

  18. squirrelelite says:

    JayHawk Doc,

    It is disappointing to know that a very good medical school like KU is getting sucked into the Integrative CAM universe.

    But, there may be some good research yet to come out of this. Your link mentioned a study currently being run by Dr. Jeanne Drisko. I noticed that she has been researching this for a while.
    One of their reference links listed here: (http://integrativemed.kumc.edu/ivvitaminc.htm#research)
    was to a study on Vitamin C and cancer at KU in 2001.

    She was also a coauthor of one of the studies referenced by Dr Gorski in his 18 Aug 2008 blog about Vitamin C and cancer:

    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=188

    Unfortunately, their reference list neglects to mention serious negative results such as those discussed by Dr Gorski in 6 Oct 2008:

    http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=236

    A couple of their Q&A answers also seemed overly sanguine and dismissive of possible negative effects:

    My oncologist or radiologist is concerned that the intravenous vitamin C will reduce
    the effectiveness of my chemotherapy or radiology treatments. Is this true?
    No. That’s a medical myth. At this time it does not appear that concurrently used intravenous vitamin C reduces the effectiveness of chemotherapy or radiation. In addition, intravenous vitamin C is not an antioxidant; it is a pro-oxidant and, therefore, seems to augment the effectiveness of chemotherapy or radiation. Dr. Drisko and our other program physicians often give it on the same day as the chemotherapy and/or radiation treatment.

    and:

    I’ve started the intravenous vitamin C, but my tumors markers are continuing to go up.
    Are the vitamin C infusions causing the cancer to spread?
    No. The intravenous vitamin C is working as a chemotherapeutic agent. Just as some types of chemotherapy may not be successful, the same is true of vitamin C infusions. Also, if you are missing any components of the protocol such as diet and oral supplements, the infusions may not work

    Still, their current study seems to have switched from using Vitamin C as a nutritional antioxidant to trying to discover an effective IV dose to use it as a pro-oxidant to generate hydrogen peroxide which can then kill the cancer cells.

    It will be interesting to see their “published results expected by year end.”

  19. squirrelelite says:

    I have a longer comment coming through moderation.

    But, has there been any discussion of the Charles B Simone studies on Vitamin C and cancer that were referenced at the KU Medical Center website that JayHawk Doc linked to?

  20. urodovic says:

    Well ……NYU is listed but as a practicing urologist I just received this seminar brochure today which I planned to attend:

    http://webdoc.nyumc.org/nyumc/files/cme/u4/Min_Invasive_Brochure_Final.pdf

    And lo and behold there is a conference on:

    Naturopathic Options for Chemosuppression
    of Residual Prostate Cancer Following
    Ablative Interventions

    Aaron Katz, MD & Geovanni Espinosa, ND, LAc

    What!! woo in my specialty? Are these guys serious? Naturopathic options for residual prostate cancer AFTER ablation is the ultimate woo…first time I have heard such a claim.

    The naturopathy guy Geovanni (Geo) Espinosa, ND is listed here:

    http://urology.med.nyu.edu/about/specialty-programs/integrative-urological-center/geo-espinosa

    What surprises me is that he is the “Director of the Integrative Urological Center at NYU Langone Medical Center”, which make me wonder, does that means that most surgical subspecialties have their own integrative medicine director.

    Please don’t tell me that means there is a Director of Integrative Otorhinolaryngology center, a Director of Integrative Ophtalmology Center, a Director of Integrative Endocrinology etc, etc?? In that case academia has REALLY been infiltrated by CAM. But wait! here is a nice description of WHY nice Dr. Geo does not accept insurance:

    “Dr. Espinosa believes that patients should be entitled to the highest standards of care, regardless of cost-influenced decisions made by insurance companies. While some progress is being made in recognition of complementary modalities, insurance companies and government programs like Medicare lag behind in recognition of such efficacious therapies as nutrition, herbal, environmental medicine and mind-body therapies.”

    Sheehh!!!

  21. Molly, NYC says:

    I’m relieved to see that OSHU only has two ecoles d’woo.

    I love Portland, but Oregon is Quack Central.

  22. nursewithabrain says:

    Unfortunately, many insurance plans cover SCAMS like chiro and acupuncture. Even our favorite socialized medicine, Medicare, pays for chiro and faith healing. Your tax dollars at work

  23. weing says:

    I think the institutions are doing it for the easy money. When expanding into CAM was brought up in my group, I was told it was because people want it. It’s cash upfront, no wasted resources on insurance billing and re-billing. I raised my objection that I don’t want to be associated with quackery. It was duly noted. I haven’t heard anything since. Could they be working behind my back on it? It’s possible. The hospital I am associated with has a department of integrative medicine also. This is just legitimizing quackery in the eyes of the uninformed public. It works as well as placebo thus you have the occasional improvement. From what I recall from my psychology courses, variable ratio reinforcement results in superstitious behavior and is almost impossible to extinguish. This plus advertising by testimonials and the lending of legitimacy by institutions that should know better is stimulating demand by a positive feedback leading to further infiltration of this quackery. It reminds me of market and housing bubbles.

  24. Zoe237 says:

    I’m sure you’re already aware of it also being from Michigan, but U of M has a integrative department and the Rudolf Steiner Center. Came across this wondering what the hell anthroposophic medicine is… the things I have to learn!~

    http://www.med.umich.edu/umim/resources/anthroposophic_medicine.htm

    Maybe a better list to have is which institutions DON’T have an integrative dept (or both). After all, don’t cutting edge medical ideas first appear at the universities and then “progress” to the rural hospitals? Isn’t that the main point of university? Or are sometimes progressive/liberal ideas too quick to infiltrate these facilities?

    The philosophy of what medicine/health is at its core appears to be undergoing a transformation before our eyes. I wonder if it will stick.

  25. I am left wonder, as a patient/patient advocate, what am I to do with such a list. Looking at the U of M Anthroposophic link I see they mention Homeopathic medicine so that would put them on the ‘more CAM’ end of Dr. Gorski’s spectrum (I think).

    But, we use Mott Children’s which is a branch of UofM for my son’s care and I really can say wonderful things about them. We’ve had great doctor’s. The nursing staff (pre-op, post-op and in-patient care) have been professional and really great dealing with children. The other medical professionals have been (MRI, Speech, EKG, etc) have all been excellent dealing with children. They have wonderful support programs such as a playroom with play therapy staff for in-patient children and a family room., etc.

    Anyway, I haven’t seen any CAM there, no offers of Rieki, etc. And as weing suggests, it’s doubtful anyone I deal with has any choice over what other department is funded by the University Hospital.

    So maybe this is a list primarily for people who write about CAM or other doctor’s or med student? Which is fine. I just was wondering if I was missing something useful from a patient perspective.

  26. The Blind Watchmaker says:

    Part of the trouble is where some institutions seem to draw the line between “conventional” medicine and “alternative” medicine.

    Nutrition, exercise and relaxation techniques like massage and Tai Chi should not be considered “alternative” unless practitioners are making unfounded or disproven claims.

    Homeopathy, Reike and acupuncture come with the baggage of pseudoscientific nonsense. It is intellectually dishonest for an academic institution to promote these as legitimate science. That’s my grudge as a member of one of the above institutions.

Comments are closed.