Results for: nccam

Disintegrating Integrative Medicine: Lessons From Baking

Suppose I were to bake you a cake and my ingredient list included the following: Eggs Milk Butter Sand Flour Baking Powder Vanilla Melamine Sugar Chocolate icing What is the problem with the ingredient list? It has integrated inedible and poisonous items into the very fine basic ingredients that make a good cake. This is the exact same problem that the medical...

/ October 16, 2008

Fun with homeopaths and meta-analyses of homeopathy trials

Homeopathy amuses me. Well, actually it both amuses me and appalls me. The amusement comes from just how utterly ridiculous the concepts behind homeopathy are. Think about it. It is nothing but pure magical thinking. Indeed, at the very core of homeopathy is a concept that can only be considered to be magic. In homeopathy, the main principles are that “like heals...

/ October 13, 2008

Kimball C. Atwood IV, MD

Kimball Atwood IV, MD is a practicing anesthesiologist who is also board-certified in internal medicine. He had been interested in pseudoscience for years, but became active in 2000 after a nursing conference at his own hospital advocated Therapeutic Touch, Guided Imagery, and several other implausible practices as effective treatments for pleural mesothelioma. Shortly thereafter he became a member of the Massachusetts Special...

/ October 5, 2008

Cognitive Dissonance at the New York Times

Humans have the very odd ability to hold contradictory, even mutually exclusive, ideas in their brains at the same time. There are two basic processes at work to make this possible. The first is compartmentalization – the ideas are simply kept separate. They are trains on different tracks that never cross. We can switch from to the other, but they never crash...

/ October 1, 2008
AutismsFalseProphets

Autism’s false prophets revealed

Dr. Paul Offit has written a book about the false prophets of autism, those who promote the idea that vaccines cause autism and those who sell quackery to treat autism, which are often the same people. If you want a good history of how the "vaccines cause autism" myth started, this is a great primer.

/ September 29, 2008

Update on the NIH “Trial to Assess Chelation Therapy”

A few days ago, while gathering information for last week’s post about intravenous hydrogen peroxide, I noticed this: ACAM Supports NIH Decision to Suspend TACT Trial September 3, 2008, Laguna Hills, Calif. — The American College for Advancement in Medicine, ACAM today announced its support for the National Institute for Health’s (NIH) decision to suspend patient accrual of the Trial to Assess Chelation...

/ September 26, 2008

A Budget of Anecdotes

“If you’ve done six impossible things this morning, why not round it off with breakfast at Milliway’s—the Restaurant at the End of the Universe!”–Douglas Adams I recently finished reading the book “The Joy of Pi” by David Blatner. There is a chapter about the concept of squaring a circle, also called the quadrature of a circle. The idea is that, with just...

/ September 11, 2008

“Patient-Centered Care” and the Society for Integrative Oncology

Should Medical Journals Inform Readers if a Book Reviewer can’t be Objective? At the end of last week’s post I suggested that book reviewer Donald Abrams and the New England Journal of Medicine had withheld information useful for evaluating Abrams’ review: that he is the Secretary/Treasurer of the Society for Integrative Oncology (SIO), the organization of which Lorenzo Cohen, the first editor of the...

/ August 29, 2008

The New England Journal of Medicine Disappoints

On July 31 of this year, a collective groan could be heard emanating from critics of pseudomedicine. The causative factors (which is medical bombast for “the cause”) were two book reviews published in the usually staid New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM): Integrative Oncology: Incorporating Complementary Medicine into Conventional Cancer Care Edited by Lorenzo Cohen and Maurie Markman. 216 pp., illustrated. Totowa, NJ, Humana...

/ August 22, 2008

Science, Reason, Ethics, and Modern Medicine, Part 4: is “CAM” the only Alternative? And: the Physician as Expert Consultant

Dr. Moran Weighs In In last week’s post, I dubbed Dr. Peter Moran the “conscience” of SBM, citing his commitment to doing what’s best for individual patients even if, in theory at least, that may involve some manner of benign but fanciful treatments. I countered with my own opinion that honesty and integrity are necessary parts of any discussion with a patient, and...

/ August 1, 2008