David H. Gorski, MD, PhD - Managing Editor


David H. Gorski, MD, PhD, FACS is a surgical oncologist at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute specializing in breast cancer surgery, where he also serves as the Medical Director of the Alexander J. Walt Comprehensive Breast Center and Cancer Liaison Physician for the American College of Surgeons Committee on Cancer. Academically, he is an Associate Professor of Surgery and Oncology at the Wayne State University School of Medicine, where he serves as Chief of the Section of Breast Surgery, and is a member of the faculty of the Graduate Program in Cancer Biology. Additionally, he serves as chairman of the board of directors for the Society for Science-Based Medicine, a group dedicated to promoting good science in medicine and opposing pseudoscience in medicine. An investigator whose primary research interests include tumor angiogenesis and the role of glutamate receptors in promoting the growth and metastasis of breast cancer, Dr. Gorski also runs an active research laboratory and has recently taken an active interest in the problems of breast cancer overdiagnosis and overtreatment.

Dr. Gorski first became interested in pseudoscience and “alternative” medicine around 2000, when quite by accident he wandered into the Usenet newsgroup misc.health.alternative and began critically examining the claims there. Since then, he has accumulated considerable experience refuting quackery and pseudoscience online. For the last eight and a half years, he has blogged under a pseudonym, producing what is consistently ranked as one of the top ten medical blogs, but was happy to drop his pseudonym in order to join such an accomplished group of skeptical doctors to discuss science- and evidence-based medicine (SEBM) for a broad audience.

DISCLAIMER: Because he is still a working academic surgeon and researcher (and hopes to remain so until he retires, which means—hopefully–for another 20 years or possibly even more), Dr. Gorski must emphasize that the opinions expressed in his posts on SBM are his and his alone and that all blog posts for SBM and elsewhere are written during his own time during evenings and weekends (although he does occasionally reply to blog-related e-mails or post comments in reply to readers during lunch at work). Also note that e-mail relating to SBM sent to either of his work addresses will most likely be ignored. Dr. Gorski’s opinions posted on this blog are most definitely not intended to represent the opinions or positions of Wayne State University School of Medicine, his department, or the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute and should never, ever be construed as such. He doesn’t know how he can make this statement any stronger. Finally, his writings are for the purposes of commentary and general education only and are therefore not meant to be used as specific health care recommendations for individuals. Readers should consult their own personal physicians for advice regarding specific health problems or issues that they might have.

FINANCIAL AND CONFLICT OF INTEREST DISCLOSURES: Dr. Gorski has been funded over the last decade by institutional funds, the Department of Defense, the National Cancer Institute, the ASCO Foundation, and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. He has recently held a small grant (€30,000) from Bayer HealthCare through its Grants4Targets program, a fact that will no doubt bring forth more criticism. Never mind that the grant expired nearly a year ago. Before that small seed grant, so bereft of pharmaceutical funding was Dr. Gorski that before his talks, as part of his disclosures, he often joked that no pharmaceutical company was interested enough in his research to want to give him any money. For everything else, however, like most biomedical scientists in academia, Dr. Gorski must beg the NIH and other granting agencies for the money to keep his lab going. Please be aware that he does also write elsewhere for a small monthly payment.

NOTICE FOR POTENTIAL PATIENTS WHO FIND THIS WEBLOG THROUGH GOOGLE SEARCHES FOR DR. GORSKI: Please note that, through his criticism of pseudoscience and quackery on Usenet, online discussion forums, and blogs over the last decade, Dr. Gorski has managed to anger some supporters of dubious health practices and pseudoscience. As a result, there are a fair number of “alt-med”-friendly bloggers and anti-vaccine activists out there who really, really, really don’t like him, even to the point of posting screeds against him, some of which are arguably libelous1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,20,19,20,21,22. For example, in 2009 a self-styled “health freedom” activist named Patrick Timothy Bolen decided to attack Dr. Gorski online as well, most likely because of Dr. Gorski’s criticism of Suzanne Somers and Dr. Nicholas Gonzalez. Please be aware that Mr. Bolen’s history of online personal attacks, harassment, and vacuous legal threats against physicians who publicly stand up for science-based medicine is well-documented1,2,3,4,5. In April 2011, Bolen threatened to resurrect an old list on which Dr. Gorski’s name appears that was circulated by a group of Holocaust deniers and white supremacists about a decade ago to smear those who, along with Dr. Gorski, were heavily involved in combatting online Holocaust denial with the claim that they were pedophiles.

These days, most (but not all) of the intentional poisoning of Dr. Gorski’s Google reputation appears to come from the anti-vaccine blog Age of Autism (AoA). The most recent example is a screed by Generation Rescue‘s founder J.B. Handley entitled (in Mr. Handley’s usual classy manner) Dr. David Gorski’s Unique Brand of Moronism and consisting of a string of vicious ad hominem attacks similar to his previous attacks on journalists. Last year an Age of Autism blogger named Jake Crosby launched a libelous attack on Dr. Gorski that is nothing more than the “pharma shill” gambit and to which Dr. Gorski preemptively replied here. Also note that, as a result of Jake’s post, anti-vaccine activists began an e-mail and telephone campaign to the WSU Board of Directors to try to get Dr. Gorski fired from his job or, failing that, to get WSU to stop him from blogging. Fortunately, as a result of this attack, Dr. Gorski discovered that Wayne State University and the Karmanos Cancer Institute are even better places to work than he had realized, as the administrations supported his academic freedom and right to free speech.

Dr. Gorski’s posts for Science-Based Medicine are archived here.

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