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Support Science-Based Medicine

Next month is the 5 year anniversary of  Science-Based Medicine. We have published 1575 articles so far, with 72,400 comments. We are getting about 475,000 views per month, and SBM has attracted the attention of the mainstream media, government agencies, peer-reviewed journals, and even television and movie producers. Over the last five years we have endeavored to be a valuable resource for anyone interested in the science of medicine, targeting our articles at both a professional and general audience simultaneously.

We are trying to engage with future and current health care professionals with articles about how to evaluate the medical literature, the pros and cons of various approaches to data, and the pitfalls of clinical decision making. We have also tried to serve a consumer protection function by targeting many false and misleading claims for health products. Further we have advocated strongly for effective regulation of health care products and practices to maintain a single, fair, and effective science-based standard of care across all health care.

It seems that we have met our initial goal of creating a successful blog promoting science-based medicine. But there is so much more to do. And we need your support.

Those who would tear down the standard of care in medicine, and erode or corrupt the scientific basis of modern medicine are tireless and well-financed with a huge profit motive to distort or even eliminate science as a barrier to their profits or promoting their ideology. Anti-science and pseudoscience has infiltrated every aspect of medicine – licensure, academia, government regulation, insurance coverage, peer-reviewed journals, store shelves, and everyday medical practice. What was previously understood as health fraud has been successfully rebranded as “alternative” or “integrative.” Placebos are now offered as effective medical interventions.

This is why we are always looking to expand our operations and reach, to rethink our strategies, and to make sure that our efforts are having a maximal impact. There are several ways that you can help in our efforts.

The most basic way, of course, is to simply donate your financial support to SBM. There is a donate button in the upper right of the homepage with which you can donate to SBM, which is operated by a non-profit educational organization, the New England Skeptical Society (NESS), and also in association with another non-profit, the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF).

We also need  help maximizing our use of the ever expanding and changing world of social media. The original concept of SBM was to create an online resource that could engage with the new media and rapidly respond to the news cycle. We plan to increase our footprint on Twitter, Reddit, Facebook, and wherever else we can educate the public about SBM. All of this takes time and resources, and the editors of SBM are mostly busy professionals donating their time to SBM. We could therefore benefit from expanding our numbers, and specifically would like to attract SBM supporters who have any of the following skills:

- WordPress programmer

- Graphic design

- Website design

- Utilizing social media

If you feel you can contribute to this effort in any way, or have any suggestions about how we can further promote SBM, please contact us (snovella@theness.com and  SBMEditor@me.com).  We would love to discuss with you how your efforts can add to the SBM network. Of course, we also always welcome article submissions for review.

Thank you to everyone who has already donated their time and resources to SBM. Together we can make the next five years of SBM even more successful.

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Leave a Comment (19) ↓

19 thoughts on “Support Science-Based Medicine

  1. nybgrus says:

    I frequently mention SBM whenever the situation permits, actively encourage classmates to read SBM, and am currently in the development of a “med school primer” document to be disseminated through the Academic Office of my program’s student society for incoming and new med students to better prepare for understanding medicine and how to be a good student and physician. To be featured prominently will be most of Dr. Atwood’s posts here (particularly the EBM/SBM Redux series) as well as select choices from Dr. Ben Goldacre. I also am a personal member of the Friends of Science in Medicine and would like to see if I can align the student society with it as well. I tried to do so this year as the Academic Officer, but met resistance from other executive members who simply did not want to deal with any “potential political issues;” in other words, they wanted to be shruggies and not take an active stand for SBM/EBM because some people might get “offended.” I decided it wasn’t worth pursuing at the time, but now that we are growing and I am President and my Academic Officer is an ardent SBM reader and supporter we may be able to get some traction.

    I also often reference relevant SBM and Neurologica posts in online discussions about medicine and science in other fora, particularly Reddit. I’ve found that it has become more common for those in /r/medicine and /r/medicalschool to have read or reference themselves SBM and Neurologica.

    And lastly, I will hopefully have more time now that my upcoming rotations are, ahem, much lighter and can thus contribute an article or two in the future.

  2. BobbyG says:

    I cite SBM routinely on my REC blog. It’s one of my first stops every morning when I scan the latest daily happens of interest.

    I will also make a graphic to give you a visual link in my links column (you’re already in my links column), and I will donate some money today after I get to the office.

    Great work here. Thanks to all of you who contribute.

  3. For me the best place to learn skepticism is this blog/podcast and the Neil the grass tyson podcast. Both have a very interesting way to deal with new information that is published every day in the tradicional media. The rule is that science don’t need to be boring as we are commonly tauch in high school. Keep the great work, always making me laughing and learning every post/podcast

    Thanks for ” keep an open mind, but not so open your brains fall out ”

    :)

  4. I cite Science Based Medicine on my own blog as … “the Belly of the Beast” :) sorry, couldn’t resist :)

  5. marcus welby says:

    I use selected posts here to stimulate discussion among the group of medical students with whom I meet weekly. Goski posts on cancer, Novella posts on a variety of subjects, Coyne on some of the mental woo, Harriet Hall on concussions, for example, was awesome and our students agreed with me that the preathletic physical is probably not worth doing, while also informing folks about the inadvisability of chiropractors doing this. Crislip’s reality-based contributions on infections are often stimulating to students. I find the posts provide good raw material to begin and focus discussion.

  6. BillyJoe says:

    RS,

    ” The rule is that science don’t need to be boring as we are commonly taught in high school. ”

    I can’t find it now, but the ABC recently covered the story about a retired science teacher returning to primary school to teach a bit of quantum theory and relativity to primary school kids using illustrations and models. The kids seemed to find it both fun and serious.
    Perhaps not all is lost.

  7. ksadrieh says:

    Every July I give a lecture to the new interns on how to run a proper journal club, emphasizing the need to keep a skeptical eye. I think it is paramount that our new generation of practitioners not only be evidence based, but rooted in the scientific method if the evidence is incomplete. I’m proud to say that my last PowerPoint slide is simply SBM’s web address and a recommendation that they check it out. Have made a few converts…

  8. The key to understanding SBM is in the application of Bayesian reasoning to evidence-based medicine (EBM). This site has taught me a great deal. I wrote a primer on my site to help those new to SBM understand the difference. I hope it can be of help.
    https://sites.google.com/site/skepticalmedicine/ebm-vs-sbm

  9. Janet says:

    I posted a link to SBM twice today at the NY Times, one being a front page (online version) story about states covering chiro and acupuncture under the new health care law. This was presented without any sources of criticism from the reporter who apparently did not even seek an opposing view, but gave the woman heading the acupuncture effort plenty of space.

    Whenever I do this and receive a follow-up message, it turns out to be an onslaught of counter-criticism accusing me of being blinded by my own “belief” in science (which is, of course, “just another point-of-view”), unaware of “powerful anecdotes”, and all the other usual illogical arguments.

    Our work is cut out.

  10. BobbyG says:

    OK, I put a SBM links column logo link on my REC blog and just made a donation.

    http://regionalextensioncenter.blogspot.com

  11. Chris Repetsky says:

    Have always had this blog linked on my website, and frequently cite it and refer my colleagues in Med School to it. Most of them sadly, don’t seem to care about it, and have the typical ‘What’s the harm?’ attitude towards Alt-Med. Others are very vocal backers of Alt-Med, and of course I need to ‘Open my mind’.

    Keep on keepin’ on, SBM staff. You guys are doing a world of good, whether you realize it or not!

  12. adamhulme says:

    Thank you to all of the team at SBM I absolutely love the website and please keep on doing what you do best. Words cannot describe how grounded, critical and intelligent you guys are, and I appreciate all of your hard work and passion for SBM. It’s a breath of fresh air amongst what can only be described as a credulous society in my particular city within Australia…thank you.

  13. BobbyG says:

    Copy that, Chris and Adam.

  14. Amalthea says:

    I want to express my thanks for your efforts here too.
    The reports of CAM infecting medical institutions were already something I found alarming, and after what my husband went through Saturday night/ Sunday morning I find it more so. “Idiopathic anaphylaxis” isn’t something that CAM shouldn’t even claim to be able to treat.

  15. Amalthea says:

    I just realized that I worded that badly. No CAM “treatments” were involved. The situation simply reinforced how dangerous it can be for people to rely on CAM for serious health conditions.

  16. Amalthea says:

    My apology for the double negative. As that should’ve been “should” instead of “shouldn’t”.

  17. lilady says:

    Trust me. You don’t want me to provide any technical assistance…I’m such a dullard when it comes to computer technology.

    I do “my part” by linking to articles that appear on SBM, when I post on other science blogs and when I post on (shudders), the Ho-Po.

    So, I just donated money to “the cause” using my credit card.

    Keep on blogging about science and pseudoscience, guys (and gals). :-)

    lilady

  18. papertrail says:

    I love this blog and I wish I had the skills you’re asking for to improve the site and your reach; I’d do it for free. I hope you received some offers.

    One little thing I noticed that could be improved was this: I wanted to link to a certain topic or article on the blog but the URL link would not go to any page except the latest post. That probably could be fixed pretty easily.

  19. DWATC says:

    I try to share as many relevant articles from this blog as I can on my facebook. I tend to make it a hobby to try to figure out why we do what we do and why we believe what we believe, so I have a lot of interest in religions and conspiracy theories. Doing this, I have many variations of ideological views among my ‘friends’ on there. Let’s just say I get quite a bit of backlash from my fellow practitioners (I’m an athletic trainer, so I have many contacts in altmed, such as chiropractors and other ATCs that use and give courses on altmed techniques.) and friends who hold anti-vax and “big pharma” ideologies. I try to dive as deep as I can into their minds to understand it. What better way to get something than by jumping in the lions den itself. Alternative medicine is a religion with many followers that believe many different conspiracies. When I share these articles, I make it clear that the readers of the article should pay close attention to the comment sections. Thank you for creating this blog. Its dramatically helped in steering my career path and making sure i pay attention to what I do in my practice. Paying attention…such a hard concept for people to get.

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