medicine

White Coat Underground

Tag archives for medicine

More on Lacks ethics

I’m heartened by the discussions of medical ethics arising out of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. From reading and listening to interviews with writer Rebecca Skloot, and from my brief conversations with her, I know that medical ethics were very much on her mind during the ten years it took her to create the…

How well do we understand sore throat?

He looked sick—really sick. He was sitting on a stretcher in an ER bay, flushed, breathing a bit quickly, but his youth seemed to compensate for the acuity of his illness, and he didn’t feel nearly as bad has he looked. His fever was 104, his systolic blood pressure was in the 90s, his heart…

Overheard—evidence is for suckers

Overheard from the 210th annual emergency meeting of the Society for Evidence-Free Healing. Chair: The meeting will come to order. Some Dude: Seconded. Chair: Um, I’m the Chair. I don’t need a “second”. Some Other Dude: That sounds like an oppressive application of the dominant paradigm. Chair: Fine, fine. Would anyone object coming to order?…

Answer this question…

A colleague of mine asked a great question: if you have one question to ask a booster of so-called alternative medicine in a public forum, what should it be? I’ll give you my answer below the fold, then open the thread to see what you think.

Naturopathy—a final word

First, I’d like to thank everyone who participated in the naturopaty primary care challenge. It was far more successful than I could have hoped. A number of naturopaths and their supporters responded, most of them quite rationally. It takes guts to walk into the fire. It also takes fanaticism. I have always rather assumed that…

The death and rebirth of vitalism

One of the common themes in biology and medicine is the feeling that somehow there must be more. Creationist cults simply know that life must be more than matter, and mind-body dualists (which includes most alternative medicine advocates) are certain that humans are more than an “ugly bag of mostly water” (sorry for the geek…

I’m a primary care physician. What I, other internists, pediatricians, and family medicine docs do is prevent and treat common diseases. When we get to diseases that require more specialized care, we refer to our specialist colleagues. There is a movement afoot to broaden the role of naturopaths to make them primary care doctors. The…

Take Vitamins—it’s magic!

Well, HuffPo does it again. No other mainstream news outlet brings the stupid on health news like Arianna. Take today’s vapid article on vitamin supplementation. Let me remind all of you amateur biologists that vitamins, discovered over a hundred years ago, were found to be “vital” to health. What made them different from macronutrients such…

There’s a war going on in medicine

This war taking place in our nation’s medical schools and academic medical centers. Orac at Respectful Insolence has been tracking this trend, as have those of us writing at Science-Based Medicine. It is a war between those who feel that medicine should continue to be based on science and those who want to integrate faith-based…

Which cult is the funniest?

I often write about “cult medicine”, that is, medical practices that share many characteristics of cults: they are based on faith, they follow charismatic leaders, they separate people from their money—you know, like The Church of Scientology. The COS has everything going for it—a religious arm, a health care arm (the Citizens Commission on Human…