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.


Science-based medicine and improving patient safety and quality of care (David Gorski)  Conventional medicine is often attacked by its critics for its frequent medical errors and iatrogenic deaths, and two studies show that recent efforts to improve safety have hardly made a dent. We must do better, with a multipronged approach and the use of formal checklists.

Resident’s Working Hours: Should We Let Sleeping Docs Lie? (Harriet Hall)  Doctors in training have traditionally worked far longer hours than are permitted for pilots and truck drivers. Fatigue leads to errors. New guidelines will reduce hours and improve supervision, but may also have some adverse consequences for training and continuity of patient care.

Cloned beef (Steven Novella)  Some countries ban the sale of meat from cloned animals, but there is no evidence of any harm or risk. Cloned beef is arguably safer than genetically modified foods.

SBM 1000th Post (Steven Novella)  This marks the 1000th entry since the blog began in January 2008.

CAM and the Law Part 3: Malpractice (Brennen McKenzie) An overview of the principles of malpractice law (based on breach of duty that caused injury) and the subtle differences when it applies to alternative medicine, due to factors like the difficulty of defining standard of care. Informed consent, assumption of risk, and the practicalities of the courtroom are covered.

Sky Maul (Mark Crislip) Reading the Sky Mall catalog during a flight, Dr. Crislip is intrigued by an advertisement for a do-it-yourself home acupuncture device. His bemusement segues into a riff on acupuncture points and the fanciful explanations that have been offered for the tattoos of Otzi, the Iceman.

With the Drunken Skeptics, and I hadn’t even had a single beer (David Gorski) A link to Dr. Gorski’s interview on the Drunken Skeptics podcast.