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The false dichotomies of CAM and “integrative medicine”

Falsedichotomy

A lot of medical specialties have throwaway newspapers/magazines that are supported by advertising and somehow mysteriously managed to show up for free in the mailboxes of practitioners. In my case, I’ve found myself on the subscription list for such papers about oncology, but also general surgery (I’m Board-certified as a general surgeon). When I have to recertify in about three years, it will be as a general surgeon, which was really fun to try to do last time after having specialized as a breast cancer surgeon, and will likely be even more fun next time, when I will be 10 years further out from my general surgery and surgical oncology training. In any case, that must be why, no matter where I end up working, sooner or later I end up receiving General Surgery News (GSN).

As throwaway professional newspapers go, GSN is not bad. However, occasionally it publishes op-ed articles that make me scratch my head or even tick me off with their obtuseness. Lately, apparently, it’s started some blogs. The one in particular that is the center of attention for this post is by Victoria Stern, is called “The Scope” and is billed as “exploring the lesser known sides of surgery.” Of course, it’s a bit odd that some of the first posts on this blog are about work hour restrictions and whether they leave new surgeons unprepared to practice surgery, the debate over breast screening, and what it takes to train expert surgeons, none of which are exactly “lesser known sides of surgery.” Work hour restrictions, in particular, have been discussed in surgery journals, at conferences, and among surgeons ad nauseam, particularly whether we are training a generation of surgeons unable to deal with the rigors of practicing surgery in the real world.

What caught my attention, though was a post from yesterday entitled “The Myth of Alternative Care, Growth of Complex Care“. Reading the title gave me a sinking feeling because whenever anyone mentions “complex care” in the context of alternative medicine, “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM), “integrative medicine,” or whatever you want to call it, I know that a heapin’ helping of tropes and positive spin on pseudoscience is likely to be on its way. The reason, of course, is that CAM advocates love to argue that patient care is so complex that conventional medicine can’t adequately address it and needs some “help” from CAM. The article doesn’t “disappoint.”

Basically, Stern frames the post thusly. Alternative medicine is “bad.” No argument there. However, CAM is a different beast altogether. She starts with the standard CAM talking point that increasingly “patients are looking for answers outside of conventional medicine.” (Where have I heard that one before? Oh, yes. In pretty much every article and post spouting CAM apologia that I’ve ever read.) She then cites a 2006 study that has been blogged about before by someone near and dear to many SBM readers about the use of alternative medicine to treat breast cancer that pointed out the less than optimal (to put it kindly!) outcomes that result from such practices. She then quotes my good buddy and SBM fearless founder and leader Steve Novella, such that it becomes rapidly obvious that the post is set up to contrast “integrative medicine” with that nasty cancer quackery such that CAM/IM is a good thing:

“Alternative medicine is harmful,” said Steven Novella, MD, a neurologist and assistant professor at Yale University School of Medicine who is executive editor of the blog Science-Based Medicine. “If such alternatives were evidence-based at all, they would be considered medicine, not alternative medicine, and would be adopted into mainstream care.”

Complementary therapies, however, are a different ballgame altogether. Unlike alternative therapies, complementary interventions are not touted as cancer treatments. As the name implies, complementary modalities, such as vitamins and herbal supplements, massage, acupuncture, are meant to accompany mainstream care. The idea is to treat the entire patient, not just the disease.

Now there’s a total waste of a perfectly good Steve Novella quote.

Yes, there’s the granddaddy of CAM/IM tropes right there, the claim, either direct or implied, that CAM/IM, contrary to “conventional” science- and evidence-based medicine treats the “whole patient” (in this case the “entire patient”) and “not just the disease. This argument is, as I like to say, a pile of fetid dingo’s kidneys, because the implication is that you can’t treat the “entire” patient without embracing quackery such as acupuncture. A good primary care doctor using science-based medicine is a wholistic doctor who treats the “entire patient.” The same is true of a good oncologist practicing science-based oncology or a good surgeon practicing science-based surgery. The false dichotomy is plain: Either embrace the quackery that is CAM, or you are not treating the “whole” patient. Yes, it irritates the crap out of me, because I see it so much, and so few physicians directly question the assumption at the heart of a passage like the one above.

Let’s just put it this way. Whenever a CAM apologist says that she doesn’t practice that awful, nasty alternative medicine (which is quackery) and doesn’t recommend using it instead of conventional therapy, I respond, “That’s nice,” because that’s all it deserves. No one should be recommending foregoing effective science-based treatment in favor of magic and fairy dust. That is a bare minimum that we expect of physicians. However, when in the same paragraph (sometimes in the same sentence) I see advocates saying that it’s perfectly acceptable to add unproven therapies as an adjunct to conventional medicine (the “complementary” in CAM) or “integrating” them with science-based medicine, my teeth start to grind involuntarily. Bad reasoning has that effect on me. Think about it. A lot of the “respectable” CAM in integrative medicine derives from the very same pseudoscientific and prescientific ideas that are behind the quackery.

I like to use the idea of “energy healing” like reiki to illustrate the point. As I’ve written so many times before, reiki is finding its way more and more into academic medical centers as a “respectable” bit of integrative medicine. The key precept of reiki, as you will recall, is that reiki masters claim to be able to channel “healing energy” from what they call the “universal source.” Now, to drive the point home, let me suggest that you substitute the word “God” for “universal source.” See what I mean? Reiki is faith healing that substitutes Eastern mysticism for Christian beliefs. So, if faith healing is bad used alone, why is it suddenly “good” and “treating the whole patient” when used with standard treatment? The only reason I can think of is that at least the patient is getting standard treatment. That’s not enough. We shouldn’t be recommending the addition of ineffective treatments based on magical thinking to conventional treatment. Whether practitioners realize or admit it or not, acupuncture is based on similar prescientific ideas, given that qi (life energy) is supposed to be flowing through “meridians” (never mind that no anatomic structure has yet been discovered that corresponds to acupuncture meridians) and the needles are supposed to be “unblocking” or “redirecting” its flow for therapeutic effect. The same concept fits into chiropractic, as well, where removing subluxations is supposed to remove impediments to the action of “innate intelligence” healing the body. The list goes on and on and on of how vitalism is at the root of so many CAM treatments that are being “integrated” into medicine.

Unfortunately, Stern also incorporates another trope into her post:

In his surgical practice, Bruce Ramshaw, MD, FACS, chairman of the Halifax Health General Surgery Residency Program and co-director of the Advanced Hernia Solutions, Daytona Beach, Fla., takes a similar patient-centered approach to care. Dr. Ramshaw and his team, which includes a patient care manager, do not just treat hernias, they also try to understand their patients—what they really go through in their day-to-day lives as well as their fears and concerns about their health—offer potential solutions to diminish issues or anxieties, and involve family members in the process for added support.

In hernia repair and in medicine in general, there is no perfect way to treat each patient, said Dr. Ramshaw, but he hopes to come closer to an optimal treatment paradigm by applying this patient-focused approach to care. “Our goal is to form genuine relationships with patients,” Dr. Ramshaw said. (Read more about Dr. Ramshaw’s thoughts in his opinion piece, Love: Its Real Effect On Patient Care).

This kind of complex care that looks at the patient as a whole is becoming increasingly important not only for enhancing patients’ overall health, ensuring that they stay away from dangerous interventions and helping patients measure their expectations, but also as a way to create a true bond between physician and patient, an element of care that has been waning over the years. Although compassion and empathy won’t treat a person’s ailments, these traits can only help improve patient care and ultimately patient health.

Actually, there is little objectionable in Dr. Ramshaw’s article itself, other than its tendency towards a bit of “Patch Adams” sentimentality (although I note that he has written other things for GSN that I thought about blogging about before regarding “complexity theory” in medicine). So what is the problem? It’s not so much with Dr. Ramshaw as with what Stern does with his statements and articles. I think you can see it. Notice how CAM/IM is being conflated, without evidence, with measures that not only “treat the patient as a whole” but serve as a way to create a “true bond” between physician and patient. This is another massive false dichotomy. It is not necessary to embrace quackery to form a “true bond” between doctor and patient. Indeed, recommending treatments without good evidence behind them strikes me as potentially major impediment to forming such a “true bond,” at least if the patient ever finds out how thin the evidence base is for these treatments. In addition, what does it tell physicians practicing science-based medicine who can and do form “true bonds” with their patients without selling them fairy dust to tell them that such fairy dust is necessary to help them form such “bonds”?

Stern promises that her next blog will explore the “pros and cons of integrative medicine.” I can hardly wait.

Posted in: Critical Thinking, Medical Ethics

Leave a Comment (82) ↓

82 thoughts on “The false dichotomies of CAM and “integrative medicine”

  1. Chebon Reese says:

    So CAM/IM exists as just one entity, characterized homogeneously by the most extreme of its touted sets of practice. Yes, and since there were a couple looters around, freedom marchers in St. Louis were all thugs too. As is so common with Steven Novella sycophant, fake skeptics, which embarrasses those of us who are real scientists and real skeptics, It seems to me that you have framed the false dilemma (it is no longer a false dichotomy if you are forced to choose one or the other, as Novella-skeptics have in this instance), and expressed the position of those who practice elements of CAM/IM on their behalf. Anyone can be made to be the bad guy, if their enemies are allowed to speak for them.

    The simple fact is that my doctor will not advise me on preventative medicine. I had to take matters into my own hands to find out the cause of my rosacea, weight gain and heartburn. I found the cause and corrected it. Now, I suggest the corrective steps to my friends who are experiencing the same symptoms. If you call that approach to medicine, where the victim takes action – CAM/IM, then you are simply a babbling clueless idiot. The doctor only helped me correct the hypothyroidism and refused to look into the possibility that there was a cause. You are apparently not old enough to have struggled with life’s later onset medical challenges, because there are those of us who have struggled with health and conducted 3000+ hours of research on those issues facing our family and our selves. And we are M and PhD level professionals – who have accomplished much in our lives. We are not stupid as the fake skepticism movement consistently implies in their propaganda.

    I would be very cautious in proclaiming to be an expert, inside a subject where EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US, is a scientist, in reality: Our bodies and our health response. Many of us are smart, and follow hypothesis reduction methodologies of science regarding our and our families health. We know better, we know that science has not had the time to research everything, and we are not willing to wait on people like you, to fairly represent the need on our behalf. You demonstate lack of integrity inside subject which we are experts on, so we just assume you use that integrity in everything else. We have daily and talented experience on this subject, and can spot a bullshit fake skeptic article, using a fallacy of composition to justify propaganda, from a mile away.

    Shame on you for brainlessly following this oppressive and rights-removing socialist movement.

    1. David Gorski says:

      Socialist movement? Seriously, what does anything I’ve written have to do with socialism? Nothing. I suspect you are simply throwing out the term as an all-purpose pejorative whose real meaning you have little or no inkling of.

      Be that as it may, contrary to what you think you are not an expert, and everyone is not an expert on his own health. As we’ve tried to teach and demonstrate, there are so many factors that confound the human brain into leaping to incorrect conclusions about their health and what affects it, including placebo effects, confusing correlation with causation, regression to the mean, hindsight bias, and, of course, confirmation bias. You are, of course, attacking a straw man, as no one is saying that people who fall for CAM are stupid. They are simply human and are misled by the same sorts of cognitive quirks and biases to which all humans are prone. The difference between a skeptic and someone like you is that skeptics recognize this and try to correct for it. They don’t always succeed, as we have seen, but they recognize their limitations and try to use science to overcome them.

      That is why science is necessary.

      1. Windriven says:

        “no one is saying that people who fall for CAM are stupid.”

        And this is why the malfeasance of political leaders who license sCAMs and medical professionals who shrug their shoulders and countenance sCAM departments in medical schools and medical centers deserve universal approbation. They protect frauds and grifters shamelessly.

        1. Windriven says:

          Yipes! Condemnation. Don’t know where approbation came from. SSR mind control maybe.

        2. Seth Katzman says:

          Opprobrium.

          1. Windriven says:

            Better still. I suspect that was what I was going for when approbation slithered out. Early onset senility.

      2. whoa says:

        Yes Gorski, we need the expert scientific mainstream authorities to tell us what to think and feel and believe. We cannot trust our stupid little brains to interpret our experiences correctly. We must wait around for the big randomized placebo-controlled experiments before we dare to have an opinion about what is good or bad for our health.

        “Socialist” was not the right word, but I sort of know what they meant by it. You advocate a Big Brother approach which some people might associate with the Big Brotherism of socialism.

        Patients are encouraged to trust their physicians, and physicians are expected to follow the current mainstream recommendations, instead of relying on their experience, intelligence and intuition.

        I know so many people who trusted doctors instead of thinking and researching for themselves, and good health is not usually the result.

        1. weing says:

          “I know so many people who trusted doctors instead of thinking and researching for themselves, and good health is not usually the result.”

          And we are supposed to believe this crap because you say so?
          WTF are you?

          1. whoa says:

            weing, I shouldn’t have to say this, but you are free to believe or not believe whatever you want. So am I.

            People in my parents’ generation, for example, often had great faith in MDs and never thought to look things up for themselves. And they didn’t have the internet of course. Lots of them wound up over-medicated and disabled from the modern industrial lifestyle.

            Maybe now some MDs have become skeptical about over-medication, and more concerned about lifestyle. But many still aren’t, and in the past it was worse.

            1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

              weing, I shouldn’t have to say this, but you are free to believe or not believe whatever you want. So am I.

              And you’re free to leave this website, or not read comments. In fact, may I recommend that if you don’t want your points criticized, don’t post them here. Go to mercola.com or something, they’ll probably give you high-fives.

              Also, you may be wrong in your assumption that the target audience of responses to your comments is you.

              People in my parents’ generation, for example, often had great faith in MDs and never thought to look things up for themselves. And they didn’t have the internet of course. Lots of them wound up over-medicated and disabled from the modern industrial lifestyle.

              Yes, and people today ignore their doctors advice and seek out alternative practitioners and advice with the internet and end up dead. Who is better off? Well, one might start with the observation that even with your over-medicated allegations, life expectancies continue to climb. In fact, these generations are probably the first where children won’t outlive their parents – notably because they ignore their doctor’s advice to eat better and exercise more.

              Maybe now some MDs have become skeptical about over-medication, and more concerned about lifestyle. But many still aren’t, and in the past it was worse.

              Are you kidding me? Iatrogenic harm is a huge area of research, and doctors are urged to have no contact with pharma reps because of the influence on their prescribing habits. Skepticism about over-medication is now the norm.

        2. Chris says:

          “Yes Gorski, we need the expert scientific mainstream authorities to tell us what to think and feel and believe”

          So we should believe self styled “health gurus” instead? Or the little voices in your head? Perhaps some random giant raven who whispers health secrets while perched on my deck?

        3. Windriven says:

          “We cannot trust our stupid little brains to interpret our experiences correctly.”

          That is correct. Not without careful science. The history of mankind is littered with inanities that our “stupid little brains” interpreted as being true.

          “We must wait around for the big randomized placebo-controlled experiments before we dare to have an opinion about what is good or bad for our health.”

          No, opinions are dime-a-dozen. You are welcome to all that you’d like. But opinions will never be more than opinions. Mine are great. Yours suck.

          “You advocate a Big Brother approach which some people might associate with the Big Brotherism of socialism.”

          Bullsh!t. Gorski hasn’t stopped you from seeing some idiotic sCAM fraud. People who invoke Big Brother ought to read Orwell so they don’t expose their utter stupidity.

          “physicians are expected to follow the current mainstream recommendations, instead of relying on their experience, intelligence and intuition.”

          No, whoa, physicians are expected to do both. There is a reason for standards of care. There is also a place for experience and intelligence. The two are complementary, not oppositional.

          “I know so many people who trusted doctors instead of thinking and researching for themselves, and good health is not usually the result.”

          And I know people who flap their mouths in the self-delusion that they have something meaningful to say. Fear and ignorance are catalysts for vacuous, stupid really, pronouncements. You are poster girl for this observation. Slack-jawed, vacant-eyed, but dead certain.

          What is it that Crislip says? Never in doubt, often in error. Something like that. I’m sure he says it better than I.

          1. mouse says:

            windriven “Bullsh!t. Gorski hasn’t stopped you from seeing some idiotic sCAM fraud. People who invoke Big Brother ought to read Orwell so they don’t expose their utter stupidity.”

            What? You mean your doctor doesn’t lock a cage over your head then loose a rat in it, until you agree to exercise and lose weight?

            I really MUST get a better doctor.

            1. simba says:

              Didn’t work for me. I liked rats.

              On the other hand there are very few things scarier than exercise.

              I kid, she says hastily.

          2. whoa says:

            “Gorski hasn’t stopped you from seeing some idiotic sCAM fraud.”

            If he could, I am sure Gorski would make CAM illegal. To protect us from our stupid little brains, of course.

            1. Windriven says:

              I don’t speak for Dr. Gorski but I nonetheless feel comfortable saying you’re, as usual, full of sh!t. Dr. Gorski would quite likely make fraud illegal (wait! it IS illegal. Oh. no, DSHEA and chiropractic and homeopathy. Never mind)

              Seriously, Gorski would, I think, very much like you to not succumb to sCAMs. But I believe it is more the purveyors of sCAM that he would sanction than those who use it.

              I, on the other hand, would let you indulge in sCAMs, but would then put you in stocks in the public square for verbal abuse and endless ridicule.

            2. Sawyer says:

              Nope. This is a straight up lie.

              Several writers here have expressed a desire to make the most absurd CAM modalities (homeopathy for infectious diseases, energy healing for cancer, etc.) illegal. Not a one of them has ever suggested every form of alternative medicine should be illegal.

              But I forgot, you, stan, SSR, and every other crackpot that shows up here has actual psychic powers, and knows the inner thoughts of Dr. Gorski better than he knows them himself.

            3. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

              If he could, I am sure Gorski would make CAM illegal. To protect us from our stupid little brains, of course.

              If it makes you feel any better, I don’t want SCAMs to be made illegal. I just want them to have no research funding in the absence of prior probability, to receive no funding from national health care plans if they exist, and for there to be health insurance options that offer discounted plans if CAM reimbursement is not a factor.

              If idiots want to waste their time on SCAMs, they are free to win all the Darwin awards they want and waste their own money.

        4. AlisonM says:

          I have to say – duh. When I responded poorly to medications with an affinity for H2 histamine receptors, my doctors had other, science-based alternative treatments for me that worked.

          When we discovered that I get no pain relief from morphine or codeine, my doctors had other, science-based alternatives that worked for me.

          You can “know your body” and still get treatments that are supported by scientific evidence. There’s no reason to subject yourself to stuff that works only if you believe in it strongly enough when there are proven alternatives.

        5. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

          Yes Gorski, we need the expert scientific mainstream authorities to tell us what to think and feel and believe. We cannot trust our stupid little brains to interpret our experiences correctly.

          Yep, you got it – humans are quite good at reaching conclusions for short-term gain, but much, much harder at maintaining long-term good health. That’s why people die of heart attacks at 21 years of age and a weight of 730 pounds.

          We must wait around for the big randomized placebo-controlled experiments before we dare to have an opinion about what is good or bad for our health.

          That’s a gross oversimplification, isn’t it? RCT are needed for some things, but for stuff like diets and exercise to maintain health, authorities have been recommending them as preventative interventions for decades in the absence of RCT, relying instead on observational studies. It all depends, and may I point out that you are the one insisting that everything is simple. Once again you are shoving your opinion of other people’s opinions into their mouths. Not very Christian, kinda bearing false witness, don’t you think?

          “Socialist” was not the right word, but I sort of know what they meant by it. You advocate a Big Brother approach which some people might associate with the Big Brotherism of socialism.

          Well then they’re ignorant and wrong, aren’t they? Tell me again how great the human brain is? And I quite doubt Dr. Gorski advocates a Big Brother approach; he generally tends towards asking for honest information and an assessment of the evidence, both preliminary and placing a value on in-human randomized studies.

          Patients are encouraged to trust their physicians, and physicians are expected to follow the current mainstream recommendations, instead of relying on their experience, intelligence and intuition.

          Yes, because relying on experience, intelligence and intuition alone led to two thousand years of bloodletting and purgatives. Once scientists started using empirical evidence rather than historical authorities to decide matters of fact, technological progress increased, goods became cheaper and life expectancies began to rise.

          I know so many people who trusted doctors instead of thinking and researching for themselves, and good health is not usually the result.

          Question – did they follow the primordial, mainstream advice of proper diet, exercise and sleep before ending up at the doctor’s office?

          Also, do you keep careful track of people who trust their doctors and have good outcomes? I like mine, he’s good. Generally a watchful-waiting type.

          1. whoa says:

            “humans are quite good at reaching conclusions for short-term gain, but much, much harder at maintaining long-term good health. That’s why people die of heart attacks at 21 years of age and a weight of 730 pounds.”

            Yes that happens all the time, doesn’t it, a perfect example of the typical human being.

            1. Windriven says:

              Sweetheart*, WLU is pulling your leg. Take a deep breath. Now exhale slowly.

              * I know I will offend some of you with this. Sometimes I’m offensive by accident, just because I’m, well, I’m offensive. This is not an accident. I apologize to you but not to Whoa. Whoa has earned every scintilla of condescension that I can muster. I used my silicone scraper (wait, this is the internet. Maybe I used my silicon scraper) and worked every square inch of the bottom of the barrel. Sweetheart is what I got. It is my gift to Whoa. I’ll restrain myself in the future.

            2. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

              Yes that happens all the time, doesn’t it, a perfect example of the typical human being.

              Even if all 21-year-olds are not dying of heart attacks, some now are – and it’s sufficiently newsworthy, you hear about it. In addition there is extensive evidence of the steadily-upward trend of BMI over the past years, and the appearance of type II diabetes in teens and 20-somethings, as well as increasing numbers in adults. Completely preventable conditions, in a society that is placing increasing emphasis on the dangers of these conditions, the impact of junk food and obesity on health, and the importance of regular exercise.

              Tell me again how great the human brain is.

              1. simba says:

                I know a fair few people who are convinced that smoking is either harmless or actively good for you. People are not so good at understanding probability, long-term effects, or judging the physiological effects of what they do on their health.

      3. Cathy Louise says:

        “As we’ve tried to teach and demonstrate, there are so many factors that confound the human brain into leaping to incorrect conclusions about their health and what affects it, including placebo effects, confusing correlation with causation, regression to the mean, hindsight bias, and, of course, confirmation bias. You are, of course, attacking a straw man, as no one is saying that people who fall for CAM are stupid. They are simply human and are misled by the same sorts of cognitive quirks and biases to which all humans are prone. The difference between a skeptic and someone like you is that skeptics recognize this and try to correct for it. They don’t always succeed, as we have seen, but they recognize their limitations and try to use science to overcome them.”

        I love this paragraph! I am a newbie to this site and have to say I really appreciate the time and energy you spend on articulately and intelligently stating the truth and calling those out who use all sorts of word salad to say nothing.

        While it may feel like you are endlessly banging your head against the wall, you are making a huge difference to many people. Keep up the great work!!

    2. brewandferment says:

      The doctor only helped me correct the hypothyroidism and refused to look into the possibility that there was a cause. You are apparently not old enough to have struggled with life’s later onset medical challenges

      causes? as in above and beyond the usual age-related reduction in functionality, like reduced heart and lung output, stiffened muscles and joints, failed ovaries and so on? What if there was a cause about which nothing could be done, what would be the point of finding out? I guess if you have damaged heart valves due to lets say rheumatic fever, finding out the cause of your fatigue would be useful if you were a candidate for valve replacement surgery–but what if you weren’t a candidate, for whatever the reason? Maybe there simply is no cause with hypothyroid, or at least not one that can be treated and corrected. You might THINK you found a cause, but you might well be simply wrong.

      1. MadisonMD says:

        Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is one of the most common causes of hypothyroidism. Other causes are surgical thyroidectomy and iodine deficiency (but deficiency is extremely rare in 1st world and is coupled with goiter, which is easily detectable on exam). There is no need to work up ordinary hypothyroidism beyond history (prior thyroid disease and treatment) and exam.

        1. mouse says:

          But what causes Hashimoto’s? Certainly genetics, to some degree, but the environmental triggers are not well understood, like many autoimmune diseases (correct?).

          I believe this is the grain of truth that folks like CR latch onto. The problem is their answers to the environmental question are just guesses, the can’t really give good evidence for their answer over the plethora of other answers.

          In fact, I believe some of their answers have been tested and found wanting. If there was good evidence for any of these answers, CR or others would definitely post it. But I haven’t seen anything yet. And I’m a sucker for autoimmune research and environmental triggers, I’m not really, really picky.

          1. mouse says:

            And another thing…If/when they do find the environmental triggers for auto-immune diseases, what are the chances that they are something that patients could do anything to avoid?

            But with folks like CR, there is always something that can be done to fix the problem. It’s NEVER, oh well, nothing can be done, sucks to be you. Exactly how realistic is that? Nada! Any version of reality that doesn’t admit that sometimes you’re screwed is clearly a fantasyland.

    3. MadisonMD says:

      Reese appears to be a snowflake who discovered his unique body characteristics that his doctor knew nothing about. He eliminated certain foods from his diet. Amazingly, this (coupled with an irrelevant calorie deficit) reduced his obesity, diabetes, and his obstructive sleep apnea. The obvious conclusion to be drawn from this experience, is that his condition was caused by toxic foods and autoimmune disease. Just because.

      Meanwhile, his dumb doctor will apparently not recommend prevention. Apparently his doctor does not believe in vaccines, weight loss, and management of diabetes and testing for cholesterolism? (If this is really so, then get a new doctor ASAP, but somehow I doubt it). Did she recommend weight loss through calorie restriction for diabetes, obesity and sleep apnea, I wonder?.

      Based on this experience, Chebon concludes that he and everyone else is a scientist when it comes to the unique characteristics of his own body. Thus, in reality and he knows more than his own doctor about health. Education in anatomy, genetics, physiology, nutrition, pathophysiology, histology, pharmacology, plus clinical experience be damned! Each body is a snowflake, wholly unique without common features that can be learned or understood by a medical professional.

      1. mouse says:

        Thanks for the background MadisonMD, I wondered what the “miracle cure” was this time.

        It would probably work in many way for the people who could manage to follow it, as you said. I’ve heard someple’s roscea is triggered by certain foods, so maybe you’d even see an improvement there.

        It makes me reflect – Some folks are oppositional enough that they just can’t get up any enthusiasm to follow a plan that is recommended to them, especially by an authority figure like a doctor.

        If RC is one of those people, I suppose the only way they could stick to a weight loss plan may be if it’s one they developed or discovered themselves and is in opposition to what they have been told (by the mainstream). They are totally invested in the plan and will go through a lot more to maintain it then one that they feel was thrust upon them.

        I doubt that people with similar mindset would be equally helped if a mainstream doctor started recommending RC’s plan. They might rebel with a new google self directed diet that is focused on calorie reduction and nutrient rich foods, though :)

      2. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

        Jebus, that’s the diseases that he treated? Obesity, type II diabetes and sleep apnea? And with weight loss? That’s a 100% science-based intervention there. I wonder if Reese’s doctor did tell him to get off his fat ass and lose some weight, but maybe not. Maybe Reese’s doctor thought Reese had, I don’t know, seen a movie, commercial or television show where it was pointed out that obesity is bad for you, and assumed such advice would be condescending and redundant, particularly when Reese seems like such a delightful person to interact with.

        Anyway, congratulations to Reese on shuffling some of that pork off, good for you. Keep it up too, so you don’t blimp up again. It’s hard to lose weight and keep it off; if avoiding certain foods (for an absurdly irrational reason) works for you, great so long as you don’t face a nutritional deficiency. But I’m guessing you’re guzzling supplements by the bottle full anyway, so no worries there!

    4. mouse says:

      Hey, I have thyroid disease, have gained weight and rosacea (well maybe rosacea)- If you recommended this plan to me I would have a choice to make.

      If I at look at conventional medicine I can see recommendations that are based on standardized documented research. I can see the studies done on a topic, see the rates of benefit, as well as negative outcomes. I can see standardized grading of the evidence. If I go with your advice, I have to take your word for it that it worked for you. Maybe I get some web links with various poorly documented, poorly standardized research and a lot of explanation of mechanisms that may or may not be verified with any evidence.

      So, in my mind, it’s not about who’s claiming to be an expert or who has a particular label. It’s about who belongs to a profession that has developed a better level of transparency and accountability, who has a consistent process for coming to a consensus on scientific developments, who displays a reasonable amount of respect for my rights to see the science that backs up their recommendation*. Sure, not every doctor is a good example of those attributes, but at least the organizational structure and standards are there to compare individual doctors by. You have none of that.

      Maybe you find all that organization and documentation “oppressive”. I don’t, I just think of it as honesty.

      *The sentence structure is awful, even for me. But I don’t have time to fix it. Apologies!

    5. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

      So CAM/IM exists as just one entity, characterized homogeneously by the most extreme of its touted sets of practice.

      Well, the one uniting characteristic of CAM is the lack of evidence supporting CAM beliefs and interventions, because if it existed, it would simply be medicine.

      That’s rather the point – the variations and specifics of the CAM interventions don’t matter, what matters is the one uniting characteristic. Lack of evidence.

      The simple fact is that my doctor will not advise me on preventative medicine. I had to take matters into my own hands to find out the cause of my rosacea, weight gain and heartburn.

      My doctor doesn’t give me much advice on preventative medicine, presumably because in taking my history he noted that I wasn’t obese, exercised a lot, and ate a lot of fresh foods prepared from raw ingredients. You know, the kinds of things that yo mama told you when you were growing up.

      We are not stupid as the fake skepticism movement consistently implies in their propaganda.

      I notice that despite criticizing the sketpical movement for painting all CAM approachs with a single broad brush, you’re not particularly averse to doing so yourself there champ. I also notice you’re very, very light on any details which might allow someone to suggest alternative explanations for your cure other than whatever unproven intervention you may have undertaken.

      I would be very cautious in proclaiming to be an expert, inside a subject where EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US, is a scientist, in reality: Our bodies and our health response.

      Two points:

      1) You seem to be quite willing to proclaim expertise about “all skeptics” (and by proxy, “all CAM”)

      2) Do you know how your liver works? I don’t. But if I go to a hepatologist (more likely a doctor of internal medicine), they do. A hepatologist is far, far more of an expert on my liver than I am, despite me owning it for numerous decades.

      You demonstate lack of integrity inside subject which we are experts on, so we just assume you use that integrity in everything else. We have daily and talented experience on this subject, and can spot a bullshit fake skeptic article, using a fallacy of composition to justify propaganda, from a mile away.

      Wow, you really are willing to proclaim that all skeptics are something, despite being an incredibly diverse movement. I question your integrity. Also, you haven’t really pointed out what is fake and bullshit about this article, just showed up and insulted everyone.

      Shame on you for brainlessly following this oppressive and rights-removing socialist movement.

      As someone who lives in a far more socialist country than the United States, may I say – you’re doing yourselves a tremendous disservice. Universal health care alone is pretty F%&$King fantastic, as is a functioning social safety net.

      But whatever, ‘Merica!

  2. Stephen S. Rodrigues, MD says:

    Once I read this, I stopped reading;
    “This argument is, as I like to say, a pile of fetid dingo’s kidneys, because the implication is that you can’t treat the “entire” patient without embracing quackery such as acupuncture. A good primary care doctor using science-based medicine is a wholistic doctor who treats the “entire patient.” ”

    I consider this dogma, group think and propaganda with no sound test in reality. You guys still are still attempting to mix and match what is true beyond doubt and a belief system of what is in your personal brains. Trying to glorify the word “science” and denigrate “pseudoscience” when both are relative terms and not synonymous with good or bad right or wrong honorable and dishonorable.

    Then an intelligent person would not rethink the concept of Acupuncture theories, has to be on a agenda to smear. What are the costs to the public that you would inflict with these lies and what is the reward you are receiving; Must be eternal life or a few bucks.

    This is a legitimate waste! (yes based on evidence and on my opinion)

    1. Windriven says:

      “Once I read this, I stopped reading”

      My first reaction was to applaud. It had never occurred to me that you ever read more than 100 or so words at a time.

      The rest of your little rant is just childish; you are annoyed that Dr. Gorski dare proclaim that the emperor has no clothes.

      If you and you tribe of like-minded grifters and delusionals would market acupuncture as a mild palliative rather than a curative intervention, much of the grief you get would evaporate. It’s not so much that you stick needles in people as if they were voodoo dolls (although it would be awfully nice if acupuncturists used sterile technique), it is that you pretend that it has important physiological consequences despite the fact that the claim is not supported by the literature.

      In my opinion when acupuncturists claim clinical utility beyond that supported by the literature, it should be vigorously prosecuted.

    2. Windriven says:

      “Trying to glorify the word “science” and denigrate “pseudoscience” when both are relative terms…”

      Science is a relative term. Another Rodriguesism that demonstrates a mind entirely disconnected from reality.

      Jesus, Steve. Isn’t there a 12 step program you could join?

    3. Guy Chapman says:

      Wait, so it’s “dogma” to challenge the dogmatic assertion by quacks that only they treat the “whole person”?
      A big problem with quacks is that they claim credit for sitting and listening. They think this is a unique benefit of quackery. It’s not, it’s a benefit of sympathetic listening – as Crocodile Dundee says, “don’t they have mates?”
      But listening to someone, or diagnosing them with a fake disease, or giving them a fake “cure” for the symptoms of life, is not treating the “whole person”, it’s fraud. And that’s what quacks do.

    4. AlisonM says:

      Believing that acupuncture works despite evidence to the contrary is the opposite of groupthink? Hmmm.

    5. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

      Once I read this, I stopped reading;

      Don’t worry, even if you read the rest you probably wouldn’t understand it.

      I consider this dogma, group think and propaganda with no sound test in reality.

      There might be a bit of truth in that statement if Dr. Gorski didn’t base his conclusions on evidence. You know, the opposite of dogma. See, if one actually tests reality, one finds that acupuncture doesn’t work. You are the one who recommends and uses it in the absence of evidence, and that is dogma. You should buy a dictionary.

      Trying to glorify the word “science” and denigrate “pseudoscience” when both are relative terms and not synonymous with good or bad right or wrong honorable and dishonorable.

      Not at all. You’ve got it quite wrong. Science simply works as a means of establishing and uniting facts. Pseudoscience tries to co-opt the social authority of science by adopting the trappings of science with none of the rigor. Kind of like wearing sneakers and a wet t-shirt while sitting on the couch, instead of actually going for a run. Pseudoscience is inherently dishonest and deliberately ignores science when inconvenient. Unless you consider dishonesty a virtue, which you might, then science really is better than pseudoscience.

      Then an intelligent person would not rethink the concept of Acupuncture theories, has to be on a agenda to smear. What are the costs to the public that you would inflict with these lies and what is the reward you are receiving; Must be eternal life or a few bucks.

      An intelligent person might note that acupuncture with fine steel needles didn’t exist until a couple decades ago, that it doesn’t matter where you put the needles, that it doesn’t matter if you penetrate the skin or not, and that it doesn’t matter if you use needles at all, and might conclude that acupuncture simply doesn’t work. You might acknowledge these points, instead of ignoring them, claiming the rejection of acupuncture must be based on bad faith, and insisting that acupuncture works based on your personal experience.

      This is a legitimate waste! (yes based on evidence and on my opinion)

      Fixed it for you; you’ve never shown any good evidence, only lengthy lists of irrelevant references you dump on the page and hope nobody will read.

      Why do you keep lying about and ignoring the evidence against acupuncture? I mean, aside from the fact that you are unethical and make money off of it?

  3. David Drummond says:

    Don’t waste your breath windriven. I tried talking to his majesty (stevie) on youtube once about pain management and my back, the numbskull actually linked to an earlier SBM post trying to show me that he was being “attacked” and “persecuted” for being an “honest truth seeker”. i’m paraphrasing because i don’t have a good grasp yet on writing flowery sounding drivel like stevie. He honestly must think he is the Jesus of acupuncture or something hilarious like that.
    in an ironic turn the guy introduced me to the counter argument against his position,(you guys) and i thanked his highness for showing me how to really do research.
    the only good thing to come of our “interaction” was i now know who not to trust, thanks again stevie.

    1. Windriven says:

      Welcome, David. And you have my sympathy for your earlier encounter with his Steveness. When he first appeared here I was impressed by his passion but horrified by its expression in acupuncture. I tried every way I could to get him to rechannel that passion into something positive and useful. As failures go, this one was epic. But I continue on, all hope of change long past, now just to amuse myself and to plant warning flags for newbies who might first encounter him here.

    2. MadisonMD says:

      I found the link to the youtube chat. This is a great example of why why SSR should stay. Most sensible individuals who start out on the fence will ultimately draw the same conclusions as Dave Drummond.

      1. Björn Geir says:

        SSR says in the Youtube chat some weeks ago:

        pubmed is mostly digital data x10-15 yr that does not include data from the last 90 yrs. You will not find what you are looking for because I’ve look and it is not there. Old-School hands-on doctors, the ones I who I rely on had only textbooks, common sense, there hands, a few tools and the patients and did a wonderfully.

        So we are to go back at least 80-90 years to find the textbook of medicine he uses?
        Perhaps it is this one: http://www.amazon.com/The-Yellow-Emperors-Classic-Medicine/dp/1570620806 ?

        The best description of the practice of acupuncture predating the reinvention of Acupuncture during the Cultural revolution is probably Mr. Dougald Christies account of his experiences which he published in New York in 1914. The descriptions of how the traditional chinese medical doctors tortured and killed their patients are not for the weak of heart.
        Perhaps that is what SSR is referring to?
        To supply the masses with medical care, albeit unproven and made-up, the Acupuncture was reinvented to use small, relatively (to the ancient lances and knives) more harmless filiform needles. The technique to produce these needles did not exist before either. They allegedly also changed the “meridian charts”, which previously showed where best to draw blood.

        Dougald Christies book can be downloaded electronically in its entirety for free.
        The book is good reading in its entirety but the salient part starts on Page 31.

        1. Thanks for the link to the book, I will spend some time with it later.

          But what does ancient Chinese have to do with Acupuncture today? Only that they discovery of the surgical tool and conceived of a marvelous philosophy of life with balance. A lot is still valid today.

          Gunn and Cannon’s Law have modernized the discipline. So you do not need any Chinese concepts to make use of the tool. I have discussed this in prior post.

          1. Jopari says:

            So they modernized it eh? Tell me, what principles did they use to do so? How did they figure out the “real” meridians if, no offense, they had pretty much the same amount of knowledge regarding it and the tools to do so as a baboon.

          2. KayMarie says:

            So the points you stick the needles in have nothing to do with the meridians and organ systems as described by the five element theory. You do not use any Chinese concepts of damp, heat, lack of or excess qi when choosing points.

            Because unless you have an entirely new way of choosing points to stick the needles in you are using something of ancient Chinese philosophy in your work.

            If you just stick needles in randomly, or use some other system for choosing them, what makes you pick this spot rather than that spot an inch over?

            At least I know where a standard issue acupuncturist is going to poke me as they use the usual Chinese theories. Now which part of the theory they use will change which set of points but it is going to be on the chart and if you know the elements and how they interact you’ve got an idea of what they were going for.

            1. Peter S says:

              My understanding is that dry needling, which I think is Dr. Gunn’s thing, really has nothing to do with acupuncture except the use of similar needles. I think the needles are placed in trigger points as identified by the practitioner.

            2. Björn Geir says:

              Medicine is the art of entertaining the patient while the body heals itself

              These sensible words are usually attributed to Voltaire and were ever so true in his time.
              I believe the modern state of acupuncture can be summarised as follows:

              Acupuncture is the art of distracting the patient while nature takes its course

              You may of course substitute “Acupuncture” with the name of other forms of quackery, like homeopathy, Craniosacral therapy, and so on…

              It is quite revealing to listen to SSR talk to patients in his promotional video’s. He derides his colleagues, tells tall tales about surgery and how steroids “poison” you” and in so many words induces the patient to think: “How lucky I am to have found this miracle maker with his natural methods”.
              It surely is a wonder (if you choose to believe him) that anyone (like me) ever gets over tennis elbows, neck/back/shoulder pain etc. with only heat, stretching, massage and excercise, without his magical myofascial release?

              Those, like our friend SSR, who practice various modern forms of poking the needles into deeper tissues for minor soft-tissue ailments, hopefully know their anatomy?
              Here he is repeatedly sticking quite close to the pulmonary apex, an area where the top of the lung can reach surprisingly high up into the cervical area and the lung surface is often very thin too.
              I just spoke to a collegue who had seen two cases of pneumothorax from the same oriental pin pusher practicing in his town. Apparently complications of modern acupuncture are
              not all that uncommon and may occasionally lead to serious consequences. Even the practitioners themselves (sometimes ) acknowledge the risks.

              .

              1. Björn Geir says:

                I see that I missed closing an href-tag so the link smears all over the text. But the pertinent link works so it does not need fixing.

          3. Jopari says:

            A lot of it is still valid, yet no Chinese concepts are required to practice acupuncture.

            Explain, so if it is vaid today, why is it not required for acupuncture. If all regarding acupuncture in Chinese concepts are wrong, how on earth did anyone modernize the practice based on completely baseless ideas?

            Gunn and Cannon’s Law.
            Are you talking about the one where one tiny action creates hypersensitivity? Explain how it links.

            1. Stephen S. Rodrigues, MD says:

              @ Jopari
              “completely baseless ideas” ???

              No idea is completely baseless, that is not possible?? Except dr Hall’s and the acupuncture does not work idea.

              Get his book and read through his concepts. If you have never studied acupuncture, had a treatment, used the needles, felt what it is like … than it would be difficult to comprehend.

              Gunn is a surgical procedure aimed at trigger points = as simple as it gets.

              1. AdamG says:

                No idea is completely baseless, that is not possible?? Except dr Hall’s and the acupuncture does not work idea.

                I think this, in a nutshell, is a perfect encapsulation of SSR’s thought processes, or lack thereof.

              2. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

                No idea is completely baseless, that is not possible?? Except dr Hall’s and the acupuncture does not work idea.

                The idea that homeopathy works and that acupuncture manipulates qi are pretty baseless. There are bad ideas, despite what postmodernism says.

                If acupuncture works, why does it keep failing when tested in a controlled trial?

                Get his book and read through his concepts. If you have never studied acupuncture, had a treatment, used the needles, felt what it is like … than it would be difficult to comprehend.

                Gunn is a surgical procedure aimed at trigger points = as simple as it gets.

                Has it ever been tested in a clinical trial? What was the result?

          4. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

            But what does ancient Chinese have to do with Acupuncture today?

            If you are indifferent to the age and longevity of acupuncture, why do you talk about how it is 5,000 years old as if it were a virtue?

            Gunn and Cannon’s Law have modernized the discipline. So you do not need any Chinese concepts to make use of the tool.

            Great, where are the randomized, controlled trials showing that Gunn and Cannon’s beliefs are valid and that their approach is superior to, say, massage, ibuoprofen or watchful waiting? Sure, they published a book of clincial impressions – but clinical impressions are notoriously unreliable. Empirical testing is what shows if an idea is valid or not.

            I have discussed this in prior post.

            Where? I recall you pointing to their books, but never really engaging with the fact that their books were not equivalent to actually testing their ideas.

        2. AlisonM says:

          Obviously, this is wrong, because the belief in bloodletting and the four humours is much older. Ditch that newfangled acupuncture and stick with the classics.

      2. Hmmm that did not spark any new thoughts or new concepts?

        Gunn and Cannon’s Law really is the keystone to all those surgical instruments.

        Google C. Chan Gunn, MD and read his work.

        Then rethink for yourself.

        1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

          Can you cite some clinical trials showing that Gunn’s principles, when applied, are effective compared to placebo, watchful waiting or usual care?

          If it’s a fully-developed theoretical system, no new thoughts are needed – it needs to be tested empirically.

          Has it been? Because how do you know you aren’t simply wrong?

      3. Frederick says:

        WOW. Rebooting the muscle? Cool. instead of needles, we should used implant with switches. you got pain? hell! just reboot your damn leg! One step toward My cyborg future!

        this video is so empty, there’s nothing in there, just vague non sense!

  4. David Drummond says:

    @ windriven
    thanks bud, i’ll keep your motives in mind and try to direct more people to this site. i first started listening to the SGU in May and in June SBM hit one million views on my b-day(best b-day ever!), and just over a month ago or so i stumbled upon Rodrigues Youtube screed. at first i was curious, but after a few pointed questions it became way too evident that my politeness and earnestness was pointless.
    I have a bad back, (years as a window cleaner did a number on it), and after a few conversations with co-workers the word acupuncture came up a few times. so, being the nerd i am i went a Googling. from Wikipedia to YouTube i found a bunch of conflicting info and hear-say. so i decided to ask a real acupuncturist about this kind of stuff. not wanting to be sold on any sessions i asked someone who was not local. I found Steven via his website and it raised some red flags. so i asked his point-blank about the controversey, he mentioned some things about “sinister doctors” and good-old-fashioned-hands-on-doctors, “the ones i rely on.” after which point he mentioned this wonderful place in the aforementioned “sinister” context. I found him funny at best, delusional at worst. BUT he did introduce me to this awesome place so I will try hard to live up to the standards you guys have and be as “sinister” as he contends you are. LOL

    1. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

      You might enjoy Paul Ingraham (Assistant Editor Extraordinaire) and his take on back pain. For what an anecdote is worth, it helped me with an episode of acute back pain; chronic is obviously totally different. He can be found at saveyourself.ca.

      But back pain is mostly just awful and intractable, my sympathies…

  5. whoa says:

    [reiki masters claim to be able to channel “healing energy” from what they call the “universal source.” Now, to drive the point home, let me suggest that you substitute the word “God” for “universal source.”]

    Of course, anyone who hates God would hate reiki. I can understand why you are so offended.

    1. Chris says:

      How can you hate something that does not exist?

      1. mouse says:

        I reserve all my hatred for the creators and proponents of Everyday Math.

        1. Chris says:

          ;-)

          I actually understand that, because I lived through it. Ugh.

          1. mouse says:

            Ha – good to know it’s not only parents like me who are idiots in math.

            There actually was a chain of thought to my comment, (in case you wondered). It went – Maybe one CAN hate someone who doesn’t exist. Do I? Well, maybe a fictional character, like Sauron. Who doesn’t hate ultimate evil? Which reminded me of Everyday Math.

            1. mouse says:

              I actually meant to say that it’s nice to know that someone who is good at math also struggled with EM. Somehow I wrote it to sound like I think you are also an idiot in math, Chris. -slap face – I need a ghost writer.

              1. Chris says:

                All my kids are in college, so I last helped my daughter make sense of that book a long time ago. It seemed that they skipped some steps, and really did not clearly explain what was expected.

                In math you need to build on a series of concepts, and not just bring them up out of the blue. This university science professor really hates it!

      2. whoa says:

        Well you are sure it doesn’t exist because you would hate it if it did. Wishing something would not be real is the same as hating it, I guess.

        1. simba says:

          Why would you need to wish it’s not real, can’t you just believe it’s not real?

          You seem to have a huge issue with having empathy for people or seeing from other people’s points of view. And when people point it out to you, you never acknowledge it (or that you were putting words into other people’s mouths.)

        2. Windriven says:

          “Well you are sure it doesn’t exist because you would hate it if it did.”

          You’ve been hanging around with Rodriguez, haven’t you? That sentence is a logical disaster.

          Speaking only for myself, I’d be surprised if there was some sky hook at work – call it god or the universal doodad, or whatever. And I’d be amused if said sky hook bore any resemblance to and of the various deities I’ve studied. Talk about the image and likeness of man. But hate? No. I hate the things that people do sometimes. I hate the reasons that they do them, especially when one or another god tells them to.

          “Wishing something would not be real is the same as hating it, I guess.”

          Echoing simba, who is wishing? Or hating for that matter? We might be snickering. :-)

          1. simba says:

            We were having such nice conversations about yogurt and penis farts…

            1. mouse says:

              I know – I’m beginning to believe something I’ve suspected for a long time. People really into alternative medicine are complete buzz kills.

              1. simba says:

                Often very angry, too, especially the drive-by one shot posters who talk about how ‘bitter’ everyone else is. Whoah, this isn’t directed at you btw.

    2. n brownlee says:

      Not offended. Amused, maybe.

    3. WilliamLawrenceUtridge says:

      Of course, anyone who hates God would hate reiki. I can understand why you are so offended.

      I’m more concerned about people who try to use reiki rather than medicine to treat health problems.

      Also, I’m unaware of any statements by Dr. Gorski that he’s an atheist, I can’t recall him blogging about the existence or beneficence of any deity, and I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen him say he hates God (also, please specify which God, as there are 333 million in Hinduism alone).

      Man, you really do take offence whenever you can, don’t you? It’s like all your skin has been stripped away, leaving nothing but a baby behind.

  6. AlisonM says:

    You know, my mom just finished up with her chemotherapy, and honest to goodness – hold onto your hats, because you won’t believe this – her oncologist treated her as a whole person! I mean, he made sure that her persistent cough got treated, that her blood pressure medication was up to date, that we got her back on a blood thinner because she had an embolism before her first infusion, asked her about her diet, how she was handling the care of my father (with his dementia) her mental state, her sleep, all kinds of stuff that weren’t directly related to pumping TOXIC CHEMICALS into her body. Who’d'a thunk it? He gave her excellent holistic care without once recommending an unproven or disproven treatment that would do nothing but suck on her checking account!

    1. Windriven says:

      It’s an outrage! I’ll report him to the AMA.

    2. Frederick says:

      The best friend of my wife, she’s training as medical doctor. When she was doing her gynecology internship, there was a that okd woman, don’t remember what she had, but after a couple of days, she seem ti fell bad, Sara ask her what was the problem, she told her that she was alone, her only friend was her cat, and he was alone ar her home for 3 or 4 days, she was super anxious. So went to take care of the cat. She did it the whole time the woman was at the hospital. So she was not anxious anymore. She also let another one pet her super long black hair, the women found it relaxing. Sara is the best science based doctor (she also have a phd in biology, potato genetic) i know. Unfortunately a lot of others doc found what she was doing ridiculous, or weird and disgusting (the hair part). She will be the best doctor.

      1. n brownlee says:

        Frederick, what a lovely story- and what a testament to your friend’s compassionate care of her patients. You’re right- she’ll be a wonderful doctor.

      2. Frederick says:

        I just realize that the auto correct Put gynecology, it is Geriatrics department, Older people care. posting from my phones is always trickier.

  7. Kiiri says:

    Great post as usual Dr. Gorski. And always amusing to watch Steven be put in his place by the more prolific commenters. On point as usual people. Keep up the good work!

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