John Weeks accuses Orac of having "blood on his hands" for criticizing the Samuelis' $200 million gift to UC-Irvine. Orac responds.

John Weeks has long been an activist for what is now known as "integrative medicine," earlier known as "complementary and alternative medicine"(CAM). Basically, for many years Mr. Weeks has been at the forefront of encouraging the "integration" of quackery with real medicine and promoting what I like to refer to as "quackademic medicine," a perfect term to describe the increasing encroachment of pseudoscience and quackery in medical academia in the form of—you guessed it—integrative medicine.

Despite his having zero background in scientific research or the design and execution of experiments and clinical trials, for some bizarre reason in May 2016 he was appointed editor of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine (JACM), even though he has zero background in science or medicine of a type that one would expect in a journal editor. Once there, he wasted little time comparing doctors advocating science-based medicine and opposing pseudoscience in medicine to Donald Trump.

Fast forward a year and a half, when the University of California, Irvine (UCI) accepted a $200 million gift from Susan and Henry Samueli to vastly expand the integrative medicine offerings at UCI (which were already quite extensive) in the form of establishing the Susan and Henry Samueli College of Health Sciences, with the current Susan Samueli Center for Integrative Medicine becoming the Susan Samueli Integrative Health Institute.

Amazingly, it wasn't just skeptics like Steve Novella and myself writing negative articles about this development. Michael Hiltzik of the LA Times wrote an article in which Dr. Novella and I were quoted with a lovely headline, A $200-million donation threatens to tar UC Irvine's medical school as a haven for quacks. Elsewhere, Usha Lee McFarling over at STAT News chimed in with a story with a somewhat less critical but still quite unflattering headline, A $200 million gift promotes alternative therapies at a California medical school — and critics recoil.

Both articles contrasted the claims by Dr. Howard Federoff, CEO of UC Irvine’s health system that the new institute and college will be rigorously evidence-based with the reality of the homeopathy offered by UCI. Hiltzik, amusingly, pointed out how UCI was trying to send references to homeopathy on its website down the memory hole and failing miserably. Meanwhile, Rick Seltzer at Inside Higher Ed quoted Steve Novella as he asked, Does $200 million quack? (My answer: Yes. Very loudly.) I, of course, used this observation to point out that UCI has long embraced homeopathy and that, because all naturopaths are trained in homeopathy, you can't have naturopathy without homeopathy.

Those of us who know how deeply "integrated" (couldn't resist) quackery is in naturopathy couldn't help but point out that Dr. Federoff's claim that UCI's new integrative medicine effort will be rigorously evidence-based is complete and utter bullshit unless UCI gets rid of naturopaths, at least as a start. Also, given that the Samuelis are very much believers in homeopathy, so much so that they mentioned support for research into homeopathy in one of their gift agreements with UCI in 2004, I highly doubt that UCI could dump homeopathy very easily even if Dr. Federoff wanted to.

Indeed, given Dr. Federoff's long history of integrating quackery into medicine at Georgetown, which was his gig before he moved to UCI, I doubt that Dr. Federoff is particularly serious about getting rid of the quackery, anyway. It's now too entrenched. This sort of coverage clearly enraged poor Mr. Weeks, who goes to great lengths to project a facade of civility in comparison to all the "anger" he portrays on "our" side. Indeed, his facade slipped so much that he misspelled Mr. Hiltzik's name alternatively as "Hitzig" and "Tiltzig" in a post published—where else?—that original wretched hive of scum and quackery, The Huffington Post, in the form of an article entitled Shameful Media Response to the Samueli’s Visionary $200-Million Integrative Health Investment at UC Irvine, in which he refers to critics of integrative medicine as "antiscience" and as "having blood on our hands."

You can get a taste from the introduction:

The response of the LA Times, STAT, Medpage, and most media to the visionary $200-million integrative health investment of Susan and Henry Samueli at UC Irvine has been a shameful display of media descent into Trump-like, polarizing tweets. Worse yet, the coverage has been a profoundly anti-science. These media, and others, have chosen to provide platforms to a small handful of individuals who for decades have denied the evidence of acupuncture, chiropractic, mind-body and multiple other integrative approaches.

Mr. Weeks is nothing if not predictable. These days, to him any criticism of integrative medicine is "Trump-like" and "polarizing." This is the schtick he came up with last year, before the election and continuing after it. To this recent but now familiar trope, Mr. Weeks adds a new epithet: "Anti-science." In essence, he is doing exactly what climate science denialisms and anti-vaxxers do: Try to flip the narrative and portray themselves as the true defenders of scientific inquiry and their critics as close-minded dogmatic skeptics who will not consider all the evidence.

This is, of course, nonsense when anti-vaxxers and climate science denialists do it, and it's no less ridiculous when Mr. Weeks does it. Also, note how Mr. Weeks also tries to minimize the criticism by minimizing the critics, referring to us dismissively as a "small handful of individuals," in order to portray us as being a tiny minority who can safely be ignored. Elsewhere in his article, he refers to Medscape "bleating" out a link to McFarling's article in STAT. (Get it? We're sheeple.)

Sadly, Mr. Weeks' tactics are all mind-numbingly obvious, but at this point in his jeremiad, Mr. Weeks turns out to be just getting started. It doesn't take him long to work himself into a fine lather:

From his LA Times podium, Michael Hiltzig first gives voice to David Gorski and then to Steven Novella, long-time colleagues and back-slapping companions as anti-integrative medicine vigilantes. Hiltzig quotes Gorski first, shaping the Samueli’s investment this way: “The only reason ‘integrative medicine’ exists is to integrate quackery into medicine.” Tiltzig immediately turns to Novella to use the Trumpish, name-calling term that Gorski himself favors: “In a blog post, Novella flayed UCI’s establishment of an integrative medicine curriculum as ’quackademic medicine.’”

"Back-slapping companions as anti-integrative medicine vigilantes"? I laughed out loud when I read that line. Maybe I should change the name of the blog from Respectful Insolence to Anti-Integrative Medicine Vigilante. On second thought, "Respectful Insolence" rolls off the tongue much more nicely. The whole "vigilante" charge, though, is meant to further demonize Steve and me, who slap each other on the back like dudebros after each new takedown of integrative medicine. Maybe next he'll portray us as bumping chests and shouting. (Seriously, could Mr. Weeks be any more obvious?) The answer, apparently, is no:

It would be one thing if this were just journalistic laziness. Sure, go ahead and run polarizing copy based on a tweetish view of the universe that makes a story fit for afternoon TV. In fact, however, these media have chosen to trumpet fake news. They promote this polarizing grandstanding rather than honor the emerging scientific consensus that is yet poorly integrated into health professional education and practice - and that utterly backs the Samuelis’ investment and direction at UC Irvine:

He then cites four references that actually show how deeply embedded quackery has become in medicine, thanks to the efforts of people like Mr. Weeks. For instance, he mentions the Joint Commission's 2015 revision of its pain management standard that recommends nonpharmacologic approaches to pain, and mentions acupuncture, chiropractic, and osteopathic manipulation. Now, I've discussed many times before how integrative medicine mavens have latched on to the opioid crisis as an opportunity to expand their influence by rebranding CAM/integrative medicine as "nonpharmacologic approaches to pain." Indeed, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine (NCCIH) enshrined this in its 2016-2021 strategic plan.

Ever since the opioid crisis inserted itself into the national consciousness, proponents of integrative medicine have seen a golden opportunity to use it to further the integration of quackery into medicine. Only they want to be seen as science-based; so when programs like the one at UCI are caught advertising The One Quackery To Rule Them All, homeopathy, they scramble to hide the evidence of it. Mr. Weeks makes a great show of mentioning guidelines published by the Mayo Clinic, which, if anything, showed that the "complementary" approaches to pain examined do not have an effect greater than placebo.

Truly, it was an awful review article. Predictably, he also mentioned American College of Physicians guidelines for low back pain. I can't help but note that those recommendations characterized evidence base for acupuncture, for example, as low quality evidence, moderate at best, and cited the GERAC Study, which basically showed that acupuncture does not work. Another mixed "electroacupuncture" (which is basically TENS) with acupuncture. Truly this was thin gruel for the ACP. Finally, he referred to the National Academy of Medicine's review on nonpharmacological approaches to pain. I perused it. It misrepresents the evidence base for acupuncture in a far too favorable a fashion, for instance claiming that recent "reviews and meta-analyses examining the effect of acupuncture on musculoskeletal pain (neck and back pain, osteoarthritis, chronic headache and shoulder pain, fibromyalgia) have found that overall, acupuncture is superior to sham and no acupuncture, but with relatively modest differences between true and sham acupuncture."

Yes, the NAM cited the Vickers meta-analysis, which showed that acupuncture doesn't work, with no clinically significant effect on pain, although the conclusion was spun to be the exact opposite. Yes, Mr. Weeks is doing what any "thought leader" in integrative medicine has to do: Exaggerate or even misrepresent the evidence base supporting the quackery that integrative medicine is seeking to add to medicine.

Up until now, Mr. Weeks didn't actually piss me off. Rather, he amused me, as he recycled the same tired, dubious arguments that he's always used, complete with his dismissive comparison of critics of integrative medicine to Donald Trump, which he's now done so often that to me it's a cliché. Indeed, I'm half tempted to make a drinking game out of Mr. Weeks' references to Donald Trump as a means of denigrating his opponents: Take a drink each time he compares our writing to Trump or to Tweets. The only problem is that I'd probably be at risk for alcohol poisoning if I were to play that game.

Here's where Mr. Weeks actually managed to piss me off. It's hard for an apologist for quackery to do, but Mr. Weeks managed it:

The roundhouse, condemnatory, “quackademic” perspectives of Gorski, Novella, Caulfield and their like toward complementary and integrative health and medicine need to be treated and dismissed by the LA Times and others as the anti-science that they are. Sure, discussion can be engaged over specific approaches or therapies. Yet giving a platform to this broad dismissal of the Sameulis’ investment is no different than repeatedly quoting non-believers in climate change at the top of an article about a massive, exciting effort to correct human environmental degradation. And while the scale is different, both forms of science denial have blood on their hands. The residual, reactive, medical ideology of these anti-integrative careerists to which the LA Times and others give a platform is a barrier to potentially lifesaving directions toward which the Joint Commission-Mayo/NIH-American College of Physicians-NAM-Attorneys General jointly urge us - and the Samueli investment would propel us.

Fuck you, Mr. Weeks. Longtime readers know that I pretty much never drop the F-bomb on this blog other than when quoting others, such as Jenny McCarthy's famous quote about the MMR and autism. In this rare case, however, I think an exception to that rule is more than justified. When you accuse Steve Novella, Tim Caulfield, me, and those who make the same arguments as we do of having "blood on our hands," telling you to fuck off is the only appropriate reaction.

We're doctors. Mr. Weeks is not. We save lives. Mr. Weeks does not. I'm a medical researcher. Mr. Weeks is not.

I can deal with his unwarranted attacks on us as "antiscience." I can laugh at them, even. I know we have the data, the science, and reason on our side. Also, contrary to how we are portrayed, we do not dismiss massage, mindfulness, exercise, diet, or other lifestyle aspects of integrative medicine. We merely point out that they are more appropriately a part of science-based medicine and that integrative medicine is "rebranding" them as somehow being "alternative" or "integrative" and then throwing in quackery like acupuncture, reiki, naturopathy, and the like. The purpose, of course, is to legitimize quackery.

That's why I say that there is no reason for integrative medicine to exist other than to provide a vessel through which quackery can be integrated into medicine. As for being an "anti-integrative medicine careerist," I view this as a thinly disguised variant of the "pharma shill" gambit, in which Mr. Weeks insinuates that we must be biased because we've made a career out of being "anti-integrative medicine." Would this sort of thing were even possible! Seriously, though, Mr. Weeks should look at my publication record. Only two of my publications indexed on PubMed can be characterized as even being about integrative medicine. However, Mr. Weeks' little tirade has med me think that maybe I should try much harder to publish more of this in the peer-reviewed scientific literature. The reason I haven't is because I'm not an "anti-integrative medicine careerist." Maybe I should become one, except that I'd call it being a pro-science careerist.

To get an idea of where Mr. Weeks comes from, he repeats a number of anti-medicine tropes. For instance, he does his best to paint critics of integrative medicine as a discipline as not caring about prevention. That's an old chestnut, because integrative medicine proponents have tried very hard to rebrand any sort of interventions to prevent disease as their bailiwick. He also cites a BMJ paper concluding that medical errors result in 251,000 deaths per year and are the third largest cause of death in the US, clearly having selected that particular paper because it has one of the largest numbers of deaths estimated anywhere in the literature. (Über-quacks Mike Adams, Gary Null, and Joe Mercola would be proud.)

As I pointed out when this study was published in 2016, the methodology used to calculate this number was highly questionable, at best, and basically custom-designed to inflate the number of deaths due to medical error, particularly through misattribution of the cause; i.e., mischaracterization of complications that had nothing to do with medical error as being due to error. Mr. Weeks then defends the poor, put-upon Samuelis as being philanthropists of the highest order, listing their charitable donations over the last two decades. No one is denying that the Samuelis have made worthwhile charitable donations over the last 25 years. It is not those particular donations that I and people like Steve Novella and Tim Caulfield have a problem with.

Rather, it is the Samuelis' repeated donations in the cause of furthering integrative medicine that we criticize. Remember, as has been pointed out in multiple articles, the Samuelis are true believers in The One Quackery To Rule Them All, homeopathy. Does Mr. Weeks think that homeopathy is science-based? I'm sorry, but you cannot credibly claim the mantle of science if you believe in homeopathy. Period. You just can't. You can try, but you will be called out, even laughed at—and deservedly so. Homeopathy is quackery based on concepts of vitalism and sympathetic magic.

Mr. Weeks concludes:

Reporters: stop giving a platform to anti-science. Do us all a favor and get serious, and scientific, about your reporting of an investment of the Samuelis at UC Irvine that - despite this apparently necessary stone throwing - may prove to be the most influential philanthropic investment in the substantial course correction that US academic medicine and medical industry need.

Actually, that's what I'm afraid of, that the Samueli investment will be the most influential philanthropic donation in medicine. I agree that reporters should stop giving a platform to antiscience. What that means is not at all what Mr. Weeks thinks it means. As much as he thinks otherwise, it is he who is promoting antiscience. Indeed, the reporting on the Samueli donation represents one of the times that the mainstream press that bothered to pay attention to this story actually got it mostly right about integrative medicine. Mr. Weeks doesn't like this, not one bit. That's why he's lashing out now.


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As a science-based physician who has done research, I will also say "fuck you" to Mr. Weeks for his accusation that you have "blood on your hands" along with all the other anti-science and anti-medicine bullshit he spouts in his Huff-Po screed.

By Chris Hickie (not verified) on 29 Sep 2017 #permalink

Do quacks bleed when a potential source of revenue is squeezed? If true, you'd have to grab them by the purse to have "blood on your hands".

By UK Homeopathy … (not verified) on 29 Sep 2017 #permalink

I, too, will join in the fuck youing.

I am not a doctor or a researcher. I did pass my grade school chemistry class. I still am baffled how anyone else who has taken even the most basic class in chemistry can accept homeopathy as a science.

By ScienceMonkey (not verified) on 29 Sep 2017 #permalink

Orac writes,

We’re doctors. Mr. Weeks is not. We save lives. Mr. Weeks does not. I’m a medical researcher. Mr. Weeks is not. I can deal with his unwarranted attacks on us as “antiscience.” I can laugh at them, even. I know we have the data, the science, and reason on our side.

MJD says,

Q. What do Orac and Col. Nathan R. Jessup have in common.

A. They're a few good men.

By Michael J. Dochniak (not verified) on 29 Sep 2017 #permalink

Mr. Weeks has a lot of nerve accusing anyone of journalistic laziness when he misspells the name of the journalist he's criticizing not once, but twice. Within the same paragraph, no less.

What idiot made him the editor of a journal? Part of an editor's job is to spot and correct errors like that.

While Orac and Chris are rightly irritated by the "blood on their hands" comment, I would point out Weeks only went there because his argument is otherwise so weak as to be nonexistent. He has to resort to hyperbole to get any traction.


Mr. Weeks has a lot of nerve accusing anyone of journalistic laziness when he misspells the name of the journalist he’s criticizing not once, but twice. Within the same paragraph, no less.

And with two DIFFERENT misspellings, no less. I mean, I know I make a fair number of typos (you try cranking out 2,000 words a day in your spare time and not making typos), but Weeks is a frikkin' EDITOR.

Also, which may be quite telling, is the fact that Mr. Weeks was the AANP's first "Exective Director", and that may fit well with the observations above regarding what I often term a 'reversal of values.'

After all, it is naturopathy by way of the AANP that still quite falsely terms homeopathy a "medicinal science."

So if you like physics and vectors, if "science" is the actual value, what we have in Mr. Weeks is deviation and indistinction:



By The Naturocrit… (not verified) on 29 Sep 2017 #permalink

There is a profound difference between Trump and those criticized by Weeks. Pretty much all available evidence demonstrates that Trump is profoundly ignorant about nearly everything. Orac et al actually know things.

I have a suggestion for a title for a regular "column" by Weeks: Weeks Sauce.

Despite his having zero background in scientific research or the design and execution of experiments and clinical trials

More likely, because, not despite. Their publication couldn't survive a pro-science bias.

Here is an open challenge to this Mr. Weeks:

We will inject you with the rabies virus. You have two choices: 1. Follow the science based cure and get the rabies vaccine or 2. Follow the homeopathy/naturopathy cure method(s).

I can bet which choice you will make. Choice 2 leaves you dead, choice 1 will let you live.

I won't say F/U to you because the time and effort with no pleasure wouldn't be worth it. Crawl back into some dark corner and continue to play with yourself. Unfortunately you are proof that the Peter Principle isn't true, you have raised way beyond your competency.

What does Mr. Weeks say about using alternative medicine for cancer? (If he wants to talk about the effects on saving people's lives).

I'd be very surprised if he speaks up against them. I'll try to run a search after teaching.

By Dorit Reiss (not verified) on 29 Sep 2017 #permalink

They’re a few good men.

Yeah, but you think Vinu is a good person, so it's obvious you don't understand the concept.

The Bad One

The misspellings and lack of eighth-grade-level copy editing should have consigned this little rant to the round file. I stopped reading HuffPo years ago when it lost its editorial direction, but this kind of sloppiness is inexcusable in something that still has such a large audience. I'm almost as disappointed that the mainstream press is providing cover for his ridiculous false-balance argument. Who reads his journal? Is it indexed anywhere? Who's paying for it? A supplement manufacturer? A woo peddler? Is anyone asking those questions? There are hundreds/thousands of garbage/front journals. Why give a garbage journal editor any voice at all?

Climate-change denialist? Wait till he calls you a holocaust denialist.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 29 Sep 2017 #permalink

What idiot made him the editor of a journal? Part of an editor’s job is to spot and correct errors like that.

That's not the job of an EIC. I have no idea whether the new SnuffPo has putative comma jockeys (PLOS doesn't), but even copyeditors need copyediting. On the other hand, the misspellings could be deliberate.

. . . On the other hand, the misspellings could be deliberate.

And therefore juvenile, at best.

@ Johnny (#12),

No, I think Vinu is a "great" person based on creativity and effort.

You (Johnny) are also a "great" person based on creativity and effort.

Therefore, you have fallen off the top100 list of Orac's minions:

98) helpmeplease
99) Willtodie
100) David Corcos
101) Johnny

By Michael J. Dochniak (not verified) on 29 Sep 2017 #permalink

@doug #8: LOL. I broke Rule #1.

@Narad: It actually is the EIC's job, the buck stops with him. But I'll grant you, the role has become much more ceremonial than it used to be, which probably explains the declining quality of print publications in general nowadays.

MJD: no one is fooled by your pathetic attempts to suck up.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 29 Sep 2017 #permalink

In other news: Tom Price has resigned...

No loss. Though, at this rate the Orange Cheeto will have to replace his entire cabinet, and he hasn't even been in office a full year yet.

The bonus is, Price is out of Congress for at least a couple of years.

You round-earth fanatics are so polarising with your refusal to even consider the flat-earth evidence. What is wrong with an integrative approach that combines the complementary aspects of both cosmologies?

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 29 Sep 2017 #permalink


Therefore, you have fallen off the top100 list of Orac’s minions

You actually keep tabs of Orac's minion?!?!


@ herr doktor bimler (#24),

You Schwarzbier fanatics are so polarising with your refusal to consider Dunkel.

Friday night cheers, cosmological friend!

By Michael J. Dochniak (not verified) on 29 Sep 2017 #permalink

Alain (#25) asks,

You actually keep tabs of Orac’s minion?!?!

MJD says,

I certainly do, the list has grown considerably over the last seven years.

You (Alain) have moved up on the list (#97) due to Johnny's Orac-less disposition lately.

Congratulations Alain!

By Michael J. Dochniak (not verified) on 29 Sep 2017 #permalink

Pgp, don't be too hard on MJD. His posts help me keep "obsequious" on the tip of my tongue - with "simpering", 'sappy' and other s-words slightly astern. Alas "exsanguinated sequoia" images intrude into my imagination. Irritating.
Don't let his lame litter lead to lament - Rubus replies recommended.

I have a quarter-inch diameter canker sore on my uvula.

In misery, please recommend a science-based treatment.

I've tried hydrogen peroxide and chloraseptic (1.4% phenol) but continue to suffer.

Please advise...

By Michael J. Dochniak (not verified) on 29 Sep 2017 #permalink

Orac, this article reads as if it were a guest posting by your and our esteemed 'friend', Dr Gorski, rather than by our revered blinky-light box.

By Se Habla Espol (not verified) on 29 Sep 2017 #permalink

So, I did some googling. Weeks is basically self taught, no degree, somehow worked his way to editing an alternative health journal, runs an alternative health blog, and is married to a naturopath? How did he get to the "forefront of encouraging the “integration” of quackery with real medicine?"

This is one of my problems with the alternative health industry - what Dr Offit calls the "false prophets."

UCI, which is my alma mater, will lend respectability to alt health with this donation, Weeks is right. That is a real shame. I wish there was some way for them to turn this down and stick to good science.

What do the Samuelis have that wins such devoted defenders? $200 million to give away! That's all you need to know.

I’ll grant you, the role has become much more ceremonial than it used to be, which probably explains the declining quality of print publications in general nowadays

EICs haven't been proofreaders in nearly half a century. Please don't try to teach your grandmother how to suck eggs.

It's not only $200-million. It's a visionary $200-million investment!
And you can same the same visionary investment in ludicrous high-tech precision medicine. When quackery triumphs, it means that there is no hope for the patient.

By Daniel Corcos (not verified) on 29 Sep 2017 #permalink

sorry, you should read;
you can MAKE the same

By Daniel Corcos (not verified) on 30 Sep 2017 #permalink

For the Washington Post, or JAMA, I'll agree with that.

For small, serious journals with small budgets, nope. The EIC is still involved in the process.

Believe me, I learned this the hard way when I published in a small journal earlier this year. They still managed to leave in errors I told them to correct after I reviewed the galley proofs.

I'm afraid that I do have to agree with Weeks on one thing. Ant-Science screeds should never get the coverage in the media that they do. False balance has done more to harm science education and policy in North America than just about anything else. But if a policy to ban that was put into effect, Weeks would be ranting about censorship.

I really wish our anti-hate laws could be used to keep the NDs from advertising in Dr COS-play dress in Ontario. It does serve to remind me why I don't watch broadcast television.

@28 Doug: You forgot moronic and imbecilic, both highly appropriate when referring to MJD.

By Anonymous Pseudonym (not verified) on 30 Sep 2017 #permalink

Anonymous Pseudonym (#35) writes,

You forgot moronic and imbecilic, both highly appropriate when referring to MJD.

MJD says,

I found some relief from the canker sore on my uvula (comment #29) and it comes from an article in Reader's Digest.

I thought about going to the doctor but a Google search presented an article with a multiplicity of natural remedies described above in the Reader's Digest article.

I saved a lot of $ by avoiding the doctor and continue to be thankful, in some situations, that there are alternatives to science-based medicine.

Big thanks to Google and artificial intelligence.

By Michael J. Dochniak (not verified) on 30 Sep 2017 #permalink

Schwartzbier is #FAKEBIER created by liberals.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 30 Sep 2017 #permalink

Schwartzbier is #FAKEBIER created by liberals.

It's no Apex Predator, but I'll take a $4.99 four-pack of Köstritzer happily.

Believe me, I learned this the hard way when I published in a small journal earlier this year. They still managed to leave in errors I told them to correct after I reviewed the galley proofs.

And this demonstrates that the EIC is also the Comma Jockey in Chief how, exactly?

Orac IS an "anti-integrative medicine vigilante", a badge methinks he wears with pride. So what Orac doesn't get into is how much division and contention there is within the rubric of IM. Weeks isn't just an IM propagandist. He's a propagandist for the worst sorts of IM. He's not out to legitimate what Orac calls "quackademic medicine". TPTB there (places like Mayo) don't need him, and probably don't want him either. He's out to legitimate IM as a specialty practiced by autonomous individual providers – in essence re-branding the neighborhood naturo-quack. This is far different from and vastly more expansive than what the "quackademic" programs do – a good number of which limit the CAM to a few 'modalities' employed for pain management and supportive therapy (in which placebos are actually useful), and all that I know of have any CAM providers working under and limited by qualified MDs.

This is NOT what Weeks wants. Or should I say it's not what the grifters he shills for want. He makes his living by representing alt-med companies and interest groups. And for this cabal, IM isn't about helping folks get through chemo or distracting them from musculo-skeletal pain rather than dosing them with opiods. No, it's all about "prevention"! or IOW supplement scams. Weeks being in bed with firms like XYMOGEN which pile a variety of shady business practices on top of manufacturing dubious products to begin with.

I don't buy that he's genuinely outraged and offended by Orac's critique of UCI on principle. His attempt to run a Turdblossom on 'anti-science' is transparently calculated and cynical. My bet is he's trying to use the controversy Orac and Novella have generated for his own agenda and/or his clients' agendas. Maybe he's trying to ingratiate himself with an institution that now has $200 million to spend. Maybe he hopes to pull the new UCI program into an even quackier direction. Maybe he just wants to use the prestige of the UC system to promote legitimacy for his own brand of IM, as if they were the same thing. Which they're not, no matter that Orac may find both unacceptable...

There are two editors for the journal. Both have equal responsibility for all aspects of publication. It's a really small, new journal that publishes once a year. My article came out in Issue 2.

Yes, it's peer reviewed. No, it's not a predatory journal (it's sponsored by my university). But the editors actually have to edit.

Hey, MJD, here’s a poem for your next book -
*Not safe for work*

And try as I like, a small crack appears in my diplomacy-dike.
"By definition", I begin,
"Alternative Medicine", I continue,
"Has either not been proved to work, or been proved not to work.
Do you know what they call 'alternative medicine' that's been proved to work?

@Johnny (#44),

When science-based medicine fails, hope is clearly derailed.
When 'alternative medicine' fails, a hope silently prevails.
When all else fails, there is no hope.

The canker sore on my uvula is waning (comment #38), I'm hopeful that the use of natural remedies made a difference.

By Michael J. Dochniak (not verified) on 01 Oct 2017 #permalink

I believe the poem MJD provided is by the acclaimed British poet Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings of 37 Wasp Villas, Greenbridge, Essex, GB10 1LL.

@ Johnny (#47),

Allow me to add a condescending enhancement with respectfully-insolent intent:

When science-based medicine fails, hope is clearly derailed.
When ‘alternative medicine’ fails, a hope silently prevails.
When all else fails, there is no hope you DOPE.

Paula N. M. Jennings can't take credit for that, Johnny. :-)

By Michael J. Dochniak (not verified) on 01 Oct 2017 #permalink

@jrkrideau: I guess I'm having an Aspie moment. I'm not sure what you mean to say with your link.

@49 Panacea

Editors are supposed to charge "page fees" not read the paper!

Title of paper:
[b]Breaking the ice with buxom grapefruits: Pratiques de publication and predatory publishing [/b]

In this case, it does not appear that anyone even read the title. And in this case the "editor" did not even get the cash.

By jrkrideau (not verified) on 01 Oct 2017 #permalink

Oh, silly me!

Heaven forfend there actually be any editing.

When science-based medicine fails, hope is clearly derailed.

Something something Jesse Fuller something.

Johnny:Snicker. It's hilarious to me that neither MJD or NWO read books, despite both of them being older than me. Well, supposedly in NWO's case, as I'm not convinced they aren't actually a twelve-year-old.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 01 Oct 2017 #permalink

David Brin, who I find always worth reading even when I don't agree with him ( speaks of there being a war against the fact-using professions, and I think this is just another example of that.
I can't describe it as well as he does, so go read him.

By Old Rockin' Dave (not verified) on 01 Oct 2017 #permalink

I'm trying to picture the respectable Dr. Gorski and Dr. Novella bumping chests and shouting. I think that would be a perfect way to commemorate next years 10 yr NECSS anniversary! :)

Which one gets to wear the pink, Gorski or Novella?

By shay simmons (not verified) on 02 Oct 2017 #permalink

Integrative medicine is trying to hitch a ride on the coattails of actual medicine. I'm reminded of a con artist who wants credit for mixing an occasional truth in with his lies.


May I suggest a hydrochloric acid throat gargle. That should get rid of your canker together with your entire uvula, tongue, throat, and the ability to speak. A marked improvement you'd have to agree.

Billyjoe: Careful there. MJD's dumb enough to actually do that.

By Politicalguineapig (not verified) on 05 Oct 2017 #permalink

Actually, since simple canker sores typically heal by themselves in about a week,

it's quite likely that any alternative treatment MJD uses will "work".

Acids are not recommended, though.

It's been five days, so how is your sore doing, Michael?

Have you visited your dentist? I'll probably need to see mine soon myself.

By squirrelelite (not verified) on 05 Oct 2017 #permalink

You know what you are? You are an anti-integrative medicine careerist and a big pharma shill.