Everyone who reads this blog regularly knows my dismay at the infiltration of the curriculum of American medical schools with increasing amounts of non-evidence-based woo. It’s even gotten to the point where one medical school (Georgetown University) has is integrating alternative medicine into the mandatory curriculum during all four years, even though these modalities are not based in convincing scientific evidence and therefore are not considered standard of care. Well, this distressing trend just gets more and more disturbing. Now, it seems, you can do a residency or fellowship in “integrative medicine,” where you can learn how to “integrate” non-evidence-based modalities right along side scientific evidence-based medicine.
This is “progress”?
What’s most disturbing is looking at the “Licensing, Certifying and Training Standards for Alternate Modalities.” For example, if I ever wanted to be “certified” in homeopathy as a physician, this is all I would need (well, plus $500 to take the “certification exam”):
For MDs (Medical doctors) and DOs (Osteopathic doctors):
- Certification: The American Board of Homeotherapeutics certifies physicians at two levels:
- A Primary Care Certificate in Homeotherapeutics can be obtained at the post-graduate or graduate level. It requires: 60-100 hours of training homeotherapeutics and a written exam;
- A “Diplomate in Homeotherapeutics (DHt)” is required for treatment of chronic disease or complex pathology. It requires: proof of comprehensive didactic and clinical traing and 3 years of clinical experience.
Licensure: Most physicians practice homeopathic medicine under the licensure provided by their state medical boards. However, Connecticut, Nevada and Arizona have developed separate homeopathic medical state licensing boards and physicians must obtain and additional license in these states. Currently, MDs and DOs are the only professions licensed to practice homeopathy in all of the states.
What the hell is going on in Connecticut, Nevada, and Arizona that they actually license homeopathic woo?
Maybe I’m just wasting my time fighting the intrusion of this woo into medicine. I could just give in and dive in. 60-100 hours? I could take two or three weeks off and do that. Then I, too, could dispense placebos wrapped in ritual and charge money for it.
Yeah, I’m not in a great mood at the moment about the state of medicine.