Here is a recap of the stories that appeared last week at Science-Based Medicine, a multi-author skeptical blog that separates the science from the woo in medicine.



A University of Michigan Medical School alumnus confronts anthroposophic medicine at his alma mater (David Gorski) Dr. Gorski laments that his medical school, once solidly committed to good science, has been infiltrated by quackademic medicine: it has added integrative medicine to its curriculum, including anthroposophic medicine, based on a pre-scientific vitalistic philosophy. Anthroposophy is arguably even more out of touch with modern scientific medicine than homeopathy. Examples of its idiocies are provided.

Spreading the Word (Harriet Hall) The authors of the SBM blog are involved in many other activities (listed here) to promote science and reason. A prime example is Dr. Steven Novella’s excellent new course for The Teaching Company on “Medical Myths, Lies, and Half-Truths: What We Think We Know May Be Hurting Us.”

Help – My Doctor is a Crank! (Steven Novella) Patients should feel empowered to push back when health care providers stray from science and reason. They can ask for published evidence, provide feedback, write to the practitioner’s superiors, and/or leave to seek science-based care elsewhere.

Dr. Oz and John Edward: Just when I thought Dr. Oz couldn’t go any lower, he proves me wrong (David Gorski) Dr. Oz has exceeded his many previous sins against science and reason by featuring the psychic scammer John Edward on his show. He gullibly says he has no explanation for what Edward does (apparently he’s never heard of cold reading!) and he even suggests psychic mediums can provide a kind of psychotherapy.

How to Interrogate an Herbal Medicine: Thunder God Vine (David Kroll) Thunder god vine has traditionally been used as an anti-inflammatory remedy, but clinical studies have had mixed results and side effects have been noted. Although it may not be useful for treatment, the compounds isolated from it are fascinating and may be useful as laboratory tools.