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The University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health teams up with quacks

Naturopathy is quackery.

I like to start most, if not all, posts about naturopathy with that simple statement. The reasons are simple. First, it’s true. Second, most people—including doctors—are unaware of this simple fact. Finally, it irritates naturopaths and their fans. It also has the benefit of setting the tone I want to convey whenever I hear about naturopathy being granted the appearance of academic legitimacy by being embraced by a real academic medical institution. Such were my thoughts when I was made aware of this press release entitled SCNM Offers Dual-Degree Program for Master’s of Public Health and Naturopathic Medical Degree in Collaboration with University of Arizona:

In collaboration with the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health, Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine (SCNM) is pleased to offer a dual-degree program for a naturopathic medical degree (ND) and a master’s degree in public health (MPH). Naturopathic medical students will begin classes in the fall 2016.

Students must apply and be accepted into both programs in order to qualify. For the master’s degree in public health, students can choose to concentrate in either public health practice (PHP) or in health services administration (HSA). “For a student interested in leadership positions in public health at government agencies, international health organizations and non-governmental associations, this is a tremendous opportunity to develop a career path,” said SCNM President Paul Mittman. “For SCNM, this collaboration represents another milestone in our strategic plans to grow the college’s academic side as well as our ability to reach and engage more students, faculty and staff.”


Yes, you heard that right. The UA’s College of Public Health has made a deal with a school of naturopathy to offer a dual degree consisting of a fake degree from a fake medical school, namely a degree in naturopathic medicine (ND, or, as I prefer to call it, “not a doctor”) and a real degree from a real school of public health, or an MPH. It’s like a bizarro world copying of a trend that’s been going on in medicine for a while, namely for physicians to obtain both an MD and an MPH in order to be able to do a combination of medical research and public health research. It’s a powerful combination; so I suppose it shouldn’t be too surprising that naturopathy schools, mimicks of all things medicine as they are, saw this trend and tried to copy it for their not-doctors. What I am surprised at is that any reputable school of public health would fall for it. On the other hand, I suppose if medical schools have gotten into bed with naturopathy schools before, as the the Georgetown University has done with Bastyr University and National University of Health Sciences.

So what is the rationale for this collaboration? This:

“Students of naturopathic medicine seek formal public health training. The fundamental principles of naturopathic medicine are similar to those of public health in such areas as health promotion, prevention, and patient education,” said Dr. Cecilia Rosales, assistant dean of Phoenix programs at the UA Zuckerman College of Public Health. “NDs are trained to be more proactive in their approach to wellness than reactive approaches to disease management and treatment.”

“We think it is important to offer public health training to all health-care providers responsible for individual care. This is especially important with the new health-care law that seeks to keep the population well rather than treating and managing illness.”

Dr. Rosales said the collaboration enhances career opportunities for SCNM students as well as opens up wider inclusion of naturopathic medicine in the broader public health community. “At the same time, we are at the very front end of what we expect to be a tremendous partnership with the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine.”

No, the fundamental principles of naturopathy sound superficially similar to those of public health, but that’s it. Naturopaths claim to be about health promotion and prevention. When their teachings overlap science-based medicine, which they sometimes do by coincidence alone coupled with their co-opting of the science-based modalities like exercise and diet, there is a tiny amount of truth to the claim. However, naturopathic “prevention” comes at a high price, and that price is exposure to pure quackery. As I like to say, you can’t have naturopathy without homeopathy. It’s a mandatory part of the curriculum in naturopathy schools. It’s even in the examination naturopaths take to become certified, the NPLEX. Many naturopaths use it in their practice. Given that homeopathy is The One Quackery To Rule Them All, the very fact that naturopaths so readily embrace homeopathy should tell you all you need to know about how weak their commitment to science is and how much their specialty is infused with pseudoscience.

Homeopathy, of course, is not the only quackery that naturopaths learn and practice, just the most quacky. As Britt Hermes, a former naturopath who gave up naturopathy up when she realized how ridiculously full of pseudoscience it is, points out, naturopathy school also requires its students to master hydrotherapy, herbology, acupuncture and energy medicine (or, as I like to call it, faith healing).

Of course, among all medical institutions, the University of Arizona would have been one of the first ones I’d expect to team up with quacks because the University of Arizona School of Medicine is already highly infused with quackademic medicine, thanks to its resident “integrative medicine” guru, arguably the most famous quackademic in the world, Andrew Weil. Indeed, a year and a half ago, I learned that the University of Arizona Cancer Center was offering the faith healing that is reiki to its pediatric cancer patients, indeed to all of its cancer patients. Meanwhile, Dr. Weil has founded an “integrative medicine” residency program and developed a board certification in this specialty that “integrates” quackery like naturopathy into medicine. Meanwhile, UA rakes in the dollars from the National Center Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) to study acupuncture and other alternative therapies. So, unfortunately, the precedent had been set. It also doesn’t help that Arizona as a state is about as quack-friendly as it gets, licensing homeopathic physicians and naturopathic not-doctors.

Britt Hermes makes an excellent point about the claim that naturopaths like to make that they are all about “prevention” while regular doctors are not:

This notion accuses the medical community of being incompetent and misguided. It is an old argument from the late 19th century when scientific medicine was still figuring itself out while homeopaths, osteopaths, chiropractors and naturopaths aggressively marketed fanciful methods designed “to treat the root cause of disease, not just symptoms.” For buying into this archaic ideology, the UA is being academically disingenuous, hindering the scientific process and tarnishing its reputation.

To be clear, there is nothing “proactive,” let alone safe, about giving patients sugar pills, recommending severe dietary restrictions, prescribing untested plant extracts, discouraging vaccines or injecting a cornucopia of substances from high-dose vitamins to ozone gas into patients’ veins.

Exactly. It is not a good thing to be “proactive” when being “proactive” involves subjecting patients to homeopathy, IV ozone, unproven supplements, using thermography to diagnose breast cancer and many other diseases (as naturopaths like to do). Being proactive should involve applying the best science to medicine and prevention. Good MPH programs teach their students how to do just that. By embracing the quackery and pseudoscience that is naturopathy, the University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health has abdicated its responsibility to teach their students about prevention, health maintenance, and public education about medicine.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

117 replies on “The University of Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health teams up with quacks”

From the linked LTTE by Britt Hermes:

In the press release about the SCNM alliance, UA’s assistant dean at the College of Public Health program in Pheonix, Dr. Cecilia Rosales, reiterates a common naturopathic trope of prevention: “[Naturopathic doctors] are trained to be more proactive in their approach to wellness than reactive approaches to disease management and treatment.”

As Ms. Hermes correctly notes, this is premium fertilizer. In order to be “proactive”, one must have some idea what the bad outcome needs to be prevented. And it needs to be more specific than “the patient gets sick”.

There are things that SBM doctors do that are proactive. Vaccines prevent specific diseases. Doctors who know the patient’s medical history can spot susceptibilities to certain conditions, e.g., cancer or heart disease, and recommend steps to reduce the risk. Likewise, naturopaths are being reactive when they advise their patients to take 60C nihilis nostrum or whatever homeopathic “remedy” is “indicated” for the patient’s symptoms (and even taking the claims of homeopaths at face value, their remedies are specifically designed to treat the symptoms).

The main difference is that SBM doctors actually have reasons other than wishful thinking to believe that their treatments will work. Wishful thinking is all the naturopaths have.

Developments like these ( UA, Georgetown) enable woo-pushers to claim that paradigm shift has occurred: I hear this frequently “even MEDICAL SCHOOLS are changing”. Or “Research at the UNIVERSITY of wherever shows..” Or ” DR So and So at HARVARD”.

Interestingly, (from Hermes’s quote about the late 19th century being a time when SBM was “figuring itself out”)
I’ve heard via PRN that this era was when alt med practitioners were being forcibly replaced by the Rockefellers’ coal-tar based pharma-based medicine using unscrupulous tactics aimed at eliminating their art forms entirely through governmental regulation and the funding of universities.

Thus, the alties provide alternative history as well as alt med.

Thanks for the info, Orac.

I did my pediatric residency at the U of A in Tucson. I will be writing a letter to the Dean of the Medical School as well as the chair of pediatrics demanding they oppose this dual-degree program based especially on the anti-vaccine stance of naturopaths. I hope there is someone at Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health that understands how large a contribution vaccines have made to improving public health.

Arizona has one of the highest non-medical vaccine exemption rates in the country and this year’s CDC vaccination survey shows AZ with the worst (of all 50 states) MMR vaccination rates in the US.

This is a boneheaded and dangerous move, Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health.

I’ve heard via PRN that this era was when alt med practitioners were being forcibly replaced by the Rockefellers’ coal-tar based pharma-based medicine using unscrupulous tactics aimed at eliminating their art forms entirely through governmental regulation and the funding of universities.

Which is quite a trick considering that the FDA and the NIH didn’t exist at the time. And a remarkably ineffective conspiracy at that, since homeopathic remedies have never been subjected to the sort of federal regulations that apply to Big Pharma’s products.

But it points to a major problem we are facing in this country (one which, alas, is not limited to medicine): certain groups of people believe they are entitled to their own facts. There is no way to win an argument with such people.

@ Eric Lund:

How I understand his tale:
the Rockefellers had excess coal tar/ petrol products which they wanted to aggressively market so they attacked the alt med folk in order to supplant the latter’s wholesome healing herbals with coal/ oil pharma so they introduced governmental controls, bribed officials, encouraged journalistic outrage and used generalised sculduggery in order to tarnish the alties’ sterling reputations amongst the public and then replaced that natural artistry with high priced chemical poisons and university-trained MDs! They continue to oppose natural medicine to this VERY day!

-btw- I perused Mikey’s Truth Wiki and stumbled upon the entry about esteemed host ( under his real name).

This is very sad to read. My daughter just graduated from UA with her MPH. I’m forwarding this to her.

Thank you, Orac, for giving this news wider attention. As an alumnus of the UA, I am very disappointed. It has not been fun defending this letter to some very upset cultural anthropology friends.

Is quackademic medicine on the march like this in the rest of the world,or is it just a North American thing?I have read very little about this outside of your blog,and over at SBM.This is a subject that the media at large seems to have completely ignored.It seems to me the rise of quackademia is just another symptom of the increasing revolt against science as a whole in America.Dan Rather wrote a very good article last week about the movement against science by both the left and the right in America.Rather admits the media helps promote this bias against science,by not educating the public at large about science.

Is it possible more universities are offering programs like this because this is what the tuition paying public,and big donors want?That universities and medical schools may just be doing this just to get money?

Is it possible more universities are offering programs like this because this is what the tuition paying public,and big donors want?That universities and medical schools may just be doing this just to get money?

It wouldn’t be so much the tuition-paying public (in many cases, tuition payments, even without the state subsidy, don’t cover the cost of educating the student), but big donors, definitely. Campuses want top-notch facilities to attract prestige, top-notch faculty, and the best students they can recruit. So if some deep-pocketed prospective donor is offering umpteen million dollars to found the $DONOR Center for Integrated Medicine at a university with a medical school, he’ll get an audience, just as if the request were for a new $DONOR Biological Sciences Building. The President (or equivalent) of the university may not know the difference; depending on his academic background, he may not have had a hard science course since high school. All he knows is that $DONOR wants to give his university a bunch of money, and his job is to get people like $DONOR to give bunches of money to his university. Every university I have ever been affiliated with operates this way; the only reason my current employer will never have a $DONOR Center for Integrative Medicine is because we do not have a medical school.

For a state university like UA, insufficient state subsidies is part of the problem, but Georgetown (to take an example mentioned upthread) is a private university, so this constraint does not apply.

NDs are real doctors, with equal training and hours as MDs in the USA. The U of A has been open to NDs for a long time via Andrew Weil, MD and NDs on that board; but we keep getting paid assassins like this (paid by the AMA, etc) and others who are conventionally trained (and brain washed, really, via politics and a strict agenda based on money and rarely science). And Britt Hermes was an unhappy student from Bastyr (probably flunked out) who moved to Germany and continues to slander NDs, even has a group of “editors” (assassins) on Wikipedia, which long has had a bias as well! So NDs continue to get no respect, publicly. But their patients sure are happy. My insurance agent even said there is so little complaints and virtually no law suits against real NDs that they can offer extremely low premiums. I guess we will just have to be content with those last two points, for now!

Is quackademic medicine on the march like this in the rest of the world,or is it just a North American thing?

Not at all. It’s a global phenomenon seen in most developed countries. Particularly affected are the UK, Europe, and Australia, but it’s not limited to there.

For most of my life, I shared that same erroneous opinion about Naturopathic physicians, chiropractors, etc. After all, this is what I was taught by my medical profession. It was only after I began to witness first hand the incredible successes achieved in many lives where traditional Allopathic medicine was limited or failed, did I then have to admit THE TRUTH. There IS a place SIDE BY SIDE for these two modalities for the purpose of achieving optimal health for patients. I truly applaud these honorable institutions of higher learning for incorporating Naturopathic training and the possibilities that it brings.
By doing so, we are taking the medical profession forward rather than limiting patient care by our own lack of knowledge, prejudices or “soap boxes”. It is humbling to admit that we can be wrong but also a good place to start in moving forward in health care!

NDs are real doctors, with equal training and hours as MDs in the USA.

Come on, this is obviously false. How many MDs learn homeopathy?

a strict agenda based on money and rarely science

please, do describe the science that supports homeopathy, let’s discuss that!

ND’s are real doctors; really. I guess this technically true in that they received a piece of paper that states they received a degree. However, when I hear of an ND that has a woman jump up and down to induce labor I know they are a real doctor.

Currently there is a news story about a group of US medical tourists that received live cell therapy and contracted Q fever from it. Yep real medical doctors.

Brad: “And Britt Hermes was an unhappy student from Bastyr (probably flunked out) …”

You are obviously illiterate. You should probably have someone help you to read and understand the articles she wrote at SBM.

Plus you must be innumerate. This is why you are confused about the number of hours taken, and the length and type of residency training. I have seen MD and DO graduates as residents at local hospitals, but never an ND. The only way anyone would think studying homeopathy is worthwhile (and it is required at Bastyr) is that they flunked both basic arithmetic and chemistry.

@Chris Hickie #3:

This is a boneheaded and dangerous move, Arizona Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health.

Yes yes yes, but does it mean the college will profit? After all, what use is a college to anyone if it can’t make money from what it does?

To Whomever you are @ #12
If you have to capitalize “THE TRUTH” it’s probably not true.

Dear NDs:

You don’t know crap. You’ve never cared from critically ill patients. You don’t understand science, anatomy or physiology. And, since you are anti-vaccine, allow me to tell you as a pediatrician to go jump in a damn lake with your “equality” claims. You are quacks through and through.

Sincerely,
a real physician

I would challenge our newest visitors to name a specific evidence-based treatment offered by NDs that isn’t offered by MDs or DOs (or MBBSs, or MBChBs, of course!).

Or rather, let me clarify: I would do that, but then we all know it’s futile to bother.

we keep getting paid assassins like this

You should always request a paid assassin if you want a quality job. I’m not saying you couldn’t find an amateur assassin who would be suitable for, say, a wedding or bar mitzvah, but why would you risk your important assassinations on an amateur who might bungle it? If you want the job done right and you don’t want to do it yourself, spend the bucks and hire a professional. And remember to look for the union label.

I began to witness first hand the incredible successes achieved in many lives where traditional Allopathic medicine was limited or failed,

Could you please tell us:
– what were these successes?
– what were the treatments?
– why do you think the successes were a result of the treatments rather than in spite of them?

Thanks.

Oh, by the way, “allopathic” is a term used to distinguish any medicine that isn’t “homeopathic”. Did you really mean to use that term?

Naturopathy is quackery.

I like to start most, if not all, posts about naturopathy with that simple statement. The reasons are simple. First, it’s true. Second, most people—including doctors—are unaware of this simple fact. Finally, it irritates naturopaths and their fans.

Mission accomplished, at least with Susan Werner and Brad. 🙂

It is humbling to admit that we can be wrong

‘Dr.’ Werner:

I began to witness first hand the incredible successes achieved in many lives

Could you be wrong about what caused these ‘successes?’ What, hypothetically, would convince you that these successes had nothing to do with whatever alternative treatment you’re referencing?

Oh, looks like the Kid missed out on the perfect program to meet his distorted view of reality.

My insurance agent even said there is so little complaints and virtually no law suits against real NDs that they can offer extremely low premiums.

As noted above, NDs tend to have low-risk patients. So they rarely have things go catastrophically wrong. That doesn’t exclude treatments going wrong in non-catastrophic ways, such as having no efficacy beyond the placebo effect. And they have been using many of these non-efficacious treatments for a century or more. At least science- and evidence-based practitioners eventually weed out treatments that don’t work.

Furthermore, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. For homeopathy and energy medicine to be correct, much of what we know about chemistry and physics would have to be wrong. Specifically, aspects of chemistry and physics that have been thoroughly tested to high precision would have to be wrong. So not only do you have to come up with versions that allow homeopathy to be correct, you would have to come up with something that passes these experimental tests at least as well as our existing framework. You’re welcome to try it. You’ll almost certainly win a Nobel prize if you succeed. But I won’t wait up nights for these new theories to come in.

“There IS a place SIDE BY SIDE for these two modalities for the purpose of achieving optimal health for patients. ”

Dr. Werner, what exactly does naturopathy offer that standard of care evidence -based medicine does not, such that we’d reasonably expect patients receiving both naturopathic and standard of care evidence-based treatment to acheive better outcomes than patients receiving standard of care treatment alone?

Orac,

Yesterday, I was able to irritate a “believer” using you and this site. One of our wellness team nurse (real medical) came into my office and I showed this site and commented about it to her.

Her reply was that this site would never make any good comments about alternative medicine. I told her yes good comments could be had if some treatment by alternative medicine was actually proven to work.

Of course we all know how soon that will be.

Susan Werner and Brad– After reading through a substantial amount of the conversations in a Yahoo group between ND’s regarding treatments, I was thoroughly convinced that they didn’t have nearly enough training of clinical relevance to do anything. It was almost like they would play Boggle with medical literature, just looking for a specific term here or there.

this is what I was taught by my medical profession.

Are you an MD, by the way? Because there is no MD with that name in Arizona. Did you mean to type Stefanie by any chance?

Naturopaths without borders…what a joke.

And Susan? May I ask what field your doctorate is in? The Arizona State Medical Board has no record of a licensed MD or osteopath named Susan Werner.

To Chris Hickie #3:

“I did my pediatric residency at the U of A in Tucson…Arizona has one of the highest non-medical vaccine exemption rates in the country and this year’s CDC vaccination survey shows AZ with the worst (of all 50 states) MMR vaccination rates in the US. This is a boneheaded and dangerous move…”

I have nothing against vaccinations, personally, but I’d like to play Devil’s Advocate.
Specifically, Devil’s Advocate from the point of an evolutionist, an evolutionist who is also
a) AGAINST “stupid” and “religious” people, and
b) FOR population control, and even, perhaps, reducing the world’s population.
(I think most contributors and commenters here fit this description.)

The smart people who get vaccinated have nothing to fear from the dumb people who don’t. The smart people are protected by their vaccines.
And if the dumb people who don’t get vaccinated die as a result, it serves them right, and will be a lesson to the possibly-dumb people who are still on-the-fence about vaccinations.

The silver lining is that the world would then have fewer people, and more importantly, fewer “stupid” and “religious” people.

No coercion, no murder involved here. Just natural societal evolution, a type of social Darwinism, if you will.

So, my Devil asks: What’s the problem, Chris?

#31 The dumb people still risk infecting people, especially vulnerable populations.

Wikipedia, which long has had a bias as well!

True, they do aspire to be reality-based.

SN: “The smart people who get vaccinated have nothing to fear from the dumb people who don’t. ”

So what is your plan to protect babies under age one from measles, mumps and chicken pox? Do you consider their parents as “dumb people” because they wait until the child is eligible for those vaccines, which after their first birthday?

According to the CDC the last measles outbreak included “26 (16%) were aged <12 months." (sorry for the wonky grammar, direct cut and past from the report)

There IS a place SIDE BY SIDE for these two modalities for the purpose of achieving optimal health for patients.

Are you saying you’re ragged and funny? Inquiring minds want to know.

See, vaccines aren’t 100% effective: some ‘smart people’ who get vaccinated are expected to fail to develop protective antibody titers, just as people contract an infectious disease sometomes fail to develop sufficient antibody titers to protect them against subsequent reinfection by teh same disease (my son, for example, has had chicken pox 3 times).

Finally there are a significant number of people who for legitimate medical reasons aren’t suitable candidates for vaccination (people undergoing chenotherapy, for example).

These people can rely on herd immunity for preotection from infectious disease, and those ‘dumb people’ (your characterization, not mine) compromise that herd immunity, placing them at increased risk of infection.

There is also the little fact of hundreds of thousands of babies, who are too young for some vaccinations….so I’d rather protect them then watch them suffer from measles, mumps, rubella or the other host of childhood VPDs that they could be exposed to.

The smart people who get vaccinated have nothing to fear from the dumb people who don’t.

This is at best an exaggeration. As you’re doubtless aware, no vaccine is 100% effective. While it can reduce the chances of infection by, say, 90% * on average, some people will not receive full benefit, some may temporarily become more susceptible due to a depressed immune system, and some may be exposed before being vaccinated. Thus being vaccinated (or intending to be vaccinated) does not provide an absolute protection against the disease.

And if the dumb people who don’t get vaccinated die as a result, it serves them right, and will be a lesson to the possibly-dumb people who are still on-the-fence about vaccinations.
The silver lining is that the world would then have fewer people, and more importantly, fewer “stupid” and “religious” people.

The guiding factor in being unvaccinated until the age of majority is not one’s own views, but one’s parents’ views. While there is certainly a genetic component to intelligence, this oblique form of eugenics is unlikely to raise the overall intelligence of the race. Additionally, remember that diseases like polio or measles may cause non-fatal but undesirable side effects like, say, paralysis or permanent deafness which don’t necessarily preclude one from contributing to the gene pool even if one were to later decide “I survived measles, my kids can too.”**

* Number given for illustrative purposes only, since IANAENDIPOOT.

** I do not know anyone who had a permanent injury from disease who has ever said that , and I probably am excessively insensitive in positing that someone could. I apologize, but use it for effect.

And remember to look for the union label.
The Assassins’ Guild does not encourage free-lancers.

Britt Hermes was an unhappy student from Bastyr (probably flunked out)
If only there were some way to look up information on the Intertubes, and encounter facts such as

[Hermes] graduated from Bastyr University with an N.D. degree and practiced as a naturopath for about 3 years

Alas, such possibilities remain in the realms of fantasy.

he Assassins’ Guild does not encourage free-lancers.

Lord Vetinari would agree.

Next from the U. of Arizona Astronomy Department:
“Students of astrology seek formal astronomy training. The fundamental principles of astrology are similar to those of astronomy in such areas as calculation of orbits, eclipses and other significant astral events.”

This will then lead to a comment like that from Dr. S. Werner (#12)
“It was only after I began to witness first hand the incredible successes achieved in many lives where traditional Astronomy was limited or failed and destroyed their families (all these night shifts observing stars) , did I then have to admit THE TRUTH.
There IS a place SIDE BY SIDE for these two modalities for the purpose of achieving optimal predictions of the future, be it eclipses or your love life.”

have nothing against vaccinations, personally, but I’d like to play Devil’s Advocate.

No, you’re just an attention whore.

The smart people who get vaccinated have nothing to fear from the dumb people who don’t.

That you would post that places you squarely in the “dumb” camp.

How many of those babies in Chicago last winter who caught the measles were old enough to be vaccinated?

This sort of stuff really makes me want to not live on this planet anymore.

Additionally, remember that diseases like polio or measles may cause non-fatal but undesirable side effects like, say, paralysis or permanent deafness which don’t necessarily preclude one from contributing to the gene pool

And there’s always mumps, which can keep a young man from contributing to the gene pool, ever.

I’d like to play Devil’s Advocate

To be fair, the role of Promotor Fidei in the canonisation procedure was really just to lend a vague air of skeptical credibility to the marketing charade; the Advocatus Diaboli was not expected to advance serious or convincing reasons or evidence against the candidate

Chris [email protected]

I will be writing a letter to the Dean of the Medical School as well as the chair of pediatrics demanding they oppose this dual-degree program based especially on the anti-vaccine stance of naturopaths.

I fear that the antivaccine criticism won’t hold sway. The current AANP statement[1] is very wishy-washy but doesn’t actually say anything bad about vaccines. The new draft one[2] specifically advocates the CDC schedule. Never mind what goes on in reality, no true naturopath is antivaccine.

Especially when there’s money involved I imagine the University will take the official statement at face value and dismiss evidence like Britt Hermes posts and the Read what naturopaths say to one another subreddit as false flags.

Maybe being affiliated with a real university will shine some light on their syllibi and textbooks. I think it’s possible that there’s no blatantly antivax stuff in their coursework but a good chance that homeopathy is taught as an alternative to the flu vaccine. I think the flu vaccine specifically (rather than general AV leanings) will prove to be the weakest point in this proposal. Both their stance on giving it to patients and getting it themselves as healthcare workers are potentially problematic.

[1] h[]p://www.naturopathicdiaries.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Immunizations.pdf
[2] h[]p://www.naturopathicdiaries.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/AANP-vaccine-position-paper-draft-2_19_15.pdf

In (slight) defense of Dr. Cecilia Rosales, and the Zuckerman College of Public Health:

We think it is important to offer public health training to all health-care providers responsible for individual care.

…seems like a valid interpretation of mission to me. And since

Arizona as a state is about as quack-friendly as it gets, licensing homeopathic and naturopathic not-doctors.

…it’s kind of the University’s responsibility to offer Public Health education to whoever the state licenses as “health-care providers responsible for individual care.”

Or – since we’re being realistic about funding – imagine what might happen to the budget of the Zuckerman School if it took a vocal public stance AGAINST ‘health-care providers’ validated by the State of Arizona. Once-excellent public universities all over the country have been decimated by round after round of budget cuts since The Reagan Era, when governors’ houses and state legislators began to be populated by Norquist-pledging Republicans who put education at the top of their list of expendables.

As an alum of The Uni of Iowa, I know the budget reversions there have resulted in any number of precipitous declines in academic programs, and if that’s happening in a ‘purple’ state like Iowa, I can only that the public unis in solid-red Arizona have to be even worse off. Dr. Rosales might need to scramble for every dime she can get to keep the doors open (ok that’s figurative, but speaking literally they may be struggling to keep faculty lines open when professors jump ship for institutions where they can paid a competitive wage and maybe get some research support…), and in addition to sucking-up to ‘integrative health’ friendly donors be properly concerned not to agitate the legislators who passed those laws licensing the homeo-and-naturo-pathetic-excuses-for-doctors. Being tuned-in to that kind of stuff was probably a pre-requisite for becoming a Dean.

Poop rolls down-hill, and I’ll target my ire at the folks taking dumps at the crest, which in this case would seem to be the elected officials of Azizona, and the bone-head ‘conservatives’ voting them into office…

‘Hey, we’ve got GREAT education institutions in this state. Just look at The University of Phoenix!’

#2 @Denice Walter

”DR So and So at HARVARD” is all too often a charlatan, like Granjean and his cronies, from the Chan School of Public Health. That place has become a disgrace to the entire University.

Interesting, then, to see Arizona as well going for a blend of public health and naked quackery.

@ Roger Kulp #8:

I checked the Rtaher article. it’s awful. Call it ‘false balance’ or ‘fallacy of the appeal to the middle’ or whatever, there is simply no comparison much less equivalence when it comes to Dems vs. the GOP on science. ALL the major GOP players support loopy policies impinging on sound scientific practice. On the other side, there’s Bernie Sanders – who is not actually a Democrat, but a Socialist (yay, Bernie!) – who authored an amendment to the Farm Bill that would allow states to require GMO labeling. That’s it. One major candidate, who doesn’t want to restrict practice in any way, doesn’t even demand labels, just asks that states be allowed to require labels if they want them.

The assertion that Sanders is somehow ‘anti-science’ because he’s against legislation that impinges states from requiring GMO labels is patently absurd. There’s a question of precedent and general principle here. If the Feds can restrict consumer-information requirements on one type of product, they can do it on another, and every lobbyist representing an industry with something to hide – the supplement industry, for example, and (yes) the organic and ‘natural’ food industries (which often rely on pest control practices arguably worse than glysophate) – gets a wide open door to plead for whatever they want NOT-labeled written into law, too.

Ingredient labeling is information, not rhetoric. The anti-labeling argument is based on the premise that consumers are so bamboozled they’ll panic if they see a ‘GMO’ ingredient on a product. (As if the average consumer reads the ‘Ingredients’ and ‘Nutrition Information’ on frozen pizza or Count Chocula…)
____
Hey, Monsanto and Genetic Literacy Project! Ever hear of “the marketplace of ideas”? If GMOs are the great world-saving innovation you say they are, it’s YOUR responsibility to make that case to the public. See, if your PR people were actually good at their jobs, GMO labeling would be to your advantage, because plenty of people would prefer products employing technologies that could help reduce starvation and human misery (…if, you know, that was actually happening instead of just profit maximization by establishing functional monopolies in seed markets…).
And a good number of other people would buy your stuff just to spite the ‘health’ scolds. While McDonald’s financial fortunes are sinking, the big winner in the fast-food biz of late is CKE Restauarants, which operates Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. They’re making bank on being proudly UN-health-conscious. The big item at Hardee’s is the Monster Thickburger – 1,410 calories (5,900 kJ), 107 grams of fat, and 2,740 mg of sodium. The State of California requires a warning label to be displayed at restaurants that serve certain types of food:

Chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer, or birth defects or other reproductive harm may be present in foods or beverages sold or served here.

The law requires the warning to be a certain minimum size and displayed in a certain way. If you look, you’ll find the warning in every fast food outlet, usually at the bottom of a ‘Nutrition Information’ poster off to the side of the main counter, and in that minimum size box. Carl’s Jr. posts it right on the front door in a bold-face sign maybe 4-5 times larger than required. So they’re doing that by their own choice and killing most of their competitors in sales in the process.
Dudes, your problem with GMO labels isn’t ‘Big Guvment’, it’s private enterprise. Really, what does it matter if a ‘contains GMO ingredients’ notation is added to that ‘Nutrition Information’panel on the side or back of the package, when General Mills, of all people, blazons “Not made with genetically modified ingredients” right on the front of every box of Cheerios?
_____

Taking a step back, the whole idea of an “anti-science left” is a crock. There ain’t no such thing. What does exist is a population of people who are both decidedly not-conservative and not-science-minded. They’re not ‘anti’-science, in that while they may not accept certain principles validated by science, they’re not working to undermine science in public policy the way creationists and AGW-deniers are. And by-and-large they’re not the ‘left’ in that they’re not significant players in electoral politics or the functioning apparatus of liberal/progressive Democratic Party campaigns. Neo-hippies tend not to vote, and they’re not the folks manning phone banks and stuffing envelopes in the offices of any sort of partisan political organization. In contrast, the creationists and AGW-deniers are indeed on the (far) right, because they’re extremely active in the nitty-gritty everyday work of politics. They vote, they volunteer, they go to rallies to cheer Ben Carson and Donald Trump…

But if you’re concerned about anti-science politics, the first thing you might do is take Deep Throat’s admonition and “follow the money.” A major funding source for the worst anti-science Republicans is the corporate lobbying group ALEC, which in turn has among its biggest donors… Surprise!.. virtually all of the major pharmaceutical companies.

In short, then, Dan Rather’s attack on Bernie Sanders is (to employ a Rather-ism) “shakier than cafeteria Jell-O”. What’s the frequency, indeed?

Wow, most of you are so angry and ignorant of the facts. NDs who graduate 4 year medical school in the US and Canada are accredited by the US Dept of Ed and licensed by their state. Every state is different bu the scope of training is the same in all 8 schools. Very similar amounts of basic science courses (actually NDs have more hours and labs and are required to attend classes and pass all courses, unlike most MD/DO schools). NDs do have residencies, though not as rigorous ( where most of the brain washing occures for allopaths – think “forget your biochem and physiology and jsut Rx this drug, you only have 7 minutes with the patient”.) NDs have 4 years of nutrition and all thousands of clinical hours of training in all the ‘ologies, so that they can start as a family doc right after graduation. NDs do have to study a few homeopathy courses but most are electives and most never use it (as its too far of a leap, like it is for most of you, though there is strong evidence it works when done correctly).

NDs are real doctors because the Govt, schools and accrediting agencies make sure they well trained by graduation with thousands of clinical hours and more actual course work and time than MDs because they have to study all of allopathic, naturopathic and chiropractic medicine.

NDs are real doctors because they follow the Hippocratic oath and first due no harm (drugs and surgery as a last option); treat the real cause by spending much more time, often hours HOURS with patients taking a history, ordering and reviewing complex, much more detailed blood work and putting together evidence-based or clinically proven treatment plans, while educating the patient how to better take care of themselves, and OMG,, cure themselves.

NDs are real doctors (and better doctors most of the time) because of all of the above… the training, ability to step outside the box of conventional, allopathic, pharmaceutical-based-driven medicine, to listen, care about the patient, spend time teaching (doctor=docere) and be brave enough to attempt a medical practice in such a hostile env’t, mostly because they have seen the vis medicatrix naturae, the healing power of nature, work on themselves, family and patients for decades. It is real traditional medicine; using science, traditional and conventional wisdom as well as real evidence based and clinically supported medicine (not just DBPC trials which are geared and steered by the pharmaceutical industry) because there is no hidden agenda, dogma and false science/research driven by pharmaceutical dollars. Like all MD association, hospitals and medical schools.

NDs have strong training in emergency medicine and minor surgery but rarely use it because most states (due to medical associations and their lobbyists). And NDs do not specialize in advanced surgeries because there is no platform for that due to the fraternity of allopaths and the lack of need. Because most of the need in medicine is for chronic care and true prevention (diet, lifestyle, staying away for doctors, drugs and hospitals – the number 1 and 3 killers of Americans), not acute care. The US and its allopathic MDs are #1 in the world at acute and emergency care, according the WHO but 41st in chronic care(where it is needed by far, the most). Behind costa rica and Morocco. Very sad.

So, just keep beating your chests, spewing the fictitious party line and ignorantly slandering NDs if you must, but you are gravely mistaken.

Should have said:
NDs have strong training in emergency medicine and minor surgery but rarely use it because most states (due to medical associations and their lobbyists). And NDs do not specialize in advanced surgeries because there is no platform for that due to the fraternity of allopaths and the lack of need. Because most of the need in medicine is for chronic care and true prevention (diet, lifestyle, staying away for doctors, drugs and hospitals – the number 1 and 3 killers of Americans), not acute care. The US and its allopathic MDs are #1 in the world at acute and emergency care, great, but according to the WHO just 41st in chronic care (where it is desperately needed – think out of control diabetes, autoimmune, Lyme, Cancer and heart disease rates!). Behind costa rica and Morocco. Very sad and reversible if we can just grab our power back from the politicians and corporations (lobbyist and pharm industry, to be exact).

Super hard to swallow this perspective and these truths, I am sure Dr ‘orac’ and others. But do some more research, get to know some NDs and talk to others besides Bret Hermes and wiki.

Brad
Homeopathy is taught in the naturopath schools. Homeopathy is on the NPLEX. ‘Nuff said.

Orac: Yours are among the most ignorant writings I have ever heard. You don’t piss me off, you just make me aware of how much work still needs to be done on educating the public about naturopathy. And you make me laugh. When I cover for a board certified M.D. and write the exact some prescriptions and refills and do the same testing they do, I’m a quack, but when they do it they are not a quack. LMAO.

Should have said:
NDs have strong training in emergency medicine

You really should have quit when you were behind.

Brad, given that you have averred the strength of naturopathic “doctors” in the realm of emergency medicine, which, you know, generally requires poor, deluded MDs to complete a nonsensical, additional three-year fellowship, how do you feel about playing a bit of Naturopath Meets Emergent Condition?

Allow me to remind you in advance that the “MCSE” certification is well known as shorthand for “must call somebody else.”

NDs have strong training in emergency medicine and minor surgery
“Have arrived at the crash site. We have two closed-head traumas with possible cervical damage; one abdominal injury, probable ruptured spleen; one crushed rib-cage with pneumothorax. Send all available naturopaths.”

^ Oh, and…

The big item at Hardee’s is the Monster Thickburger – 1,410 calories (5,900 kJ)

Please (1) state the meaning of “big item,” as this tends to suggest “most popular,”* and (2) explain, in your own words, what the ‘J’ in “kJ” means.

I mean, you’d look pretty freaking stupid if you were just thoughtlessly embellishing cut-and-paste jobs, wholly aside from their failing to do anything other than illustrating to the commentariat that you’re not even competent to read your lines.

Seriously, where’s the “allopathic” [sic] training only includes 45 minutes two hours a negligible amount of hopelessly misguided “training” in “nutrition” bit?

* This made news, what, 11 years ago?If anyone eats this and can’t clearly see that it is a novelty item, the issue isn’t the burger, it is education.” Hence… naturopaths?

“Have arrived at the crash site. We have two closed-head traumas with possible cervical damage; one abdominal injury, probable ruptured spleen; one crushed rib-cage with pneumothorax. Send all available naturopaths.”

Is it just me, or is this the the best OMICS link ever?

But anyway, Brad, PT presents to ND ED with sudden-onset flaccid paralysis. First symptoms were tingling around the mouth, followed by symmetric blurred vision and drooping eyelids. The condition is descending.

1. What’s the immediate naturopathic management plan?

2. What information does the naturopath need to elicit about what preceded the onset?

3. It is ascertained that PT hasn’t yet pursued his regular naturopath’s offhand recommendation to consume homemade fermented foods. Where does the naturopathic differential go from here?

@Brad #50:

Wow! I couldn’t have said it better myself. But then I can’t see any grounds for saying any of it at all…

though there is strong evidence it works when done correctly

How do you define ‘correctly’? Wait,let me guess. Is it ‘when no-one is looking at all’?

I gotta say, the regular commentariat here are absolute masters of the art of calling out nonsense and handing people’s behinds to them.

It’s an education in itself, and oftem very entertaining as well. Thanks, everyone!

Also, I know the commenter earlier suggesting that the U of A astronomy dept was going to give equal time to astrology was making a funny (and a pretty good one), but itt should be noted in passing that the U of A department is very strong.

Dr. Nordin — Glad to hear that you actually use so-called allopathic methods.

I’m curious, though. Do you also prescribe homeopathic medicines? Do you think that they have any mechanism of action other than as a placebo?

Dr. Anna Nordin’s LinkedIn profile states that “Scope of practice includes alllopathic treatment including pharmaceuticals, urgent care, minor surgery, botanical medicine, acupuncture and Chinese Medicine, homeopathic, physical adjustments, hydrotherapy, lifestyle counselling, psychotherapy, rejuvenative/anti-aging medicine…I use only integrative methods with strong scientific demonstration of their efficacy.”

Would love to hear what the “strong scientific demonstration of…efficacy” is for the homeopathy, acupuncture and “rejuvenative” treatments she offers.

NDs do have residencies, though not as rigorous

That’s one way of putting it.

Almost one-quarter (22.5%) of naturopathic doctors licensed in Washington had completed at least one year of post-graduate residency training compared with only 8.5% of those in Connecticut. (Residency training is not required for licensure in either state.)

^^And that’s another.

The only prevention that the MDs practice is by using vaccines. That too only because the law requires it. Otherwise it is prescribe, slash and burn. There is barely a whisper about healthy eating, healthy lifestyle. The folks at SBM and their fans must live in some alternate universe. They usually want to talk about emergencies and acute situations where MDs do hold a major advantage. But most health issues, in fact most people even before they have any health issues, do not require prescription medicines or any medical intervention. Instead they need guidance about how to live a healthy life. This is the advice that our MD community is utterly incapable or unwilling to give. No wonder US is one of the least healthy country in the Western Hemisphere.

Having engaged in a protracted argument (it was raining, there was nothing on TV) with a naturopath on NN about the plausibility of germ theory and whether pathogens could cause disease I would say naturopathy has nothing to do with medicine.

Strangely he did turn down the opportunity to be injected with the rabies virus offered by another commenter, so I guess he hadn’t had enough turmeric that week.

From Ms. (Not a Doctor) Nordin’s LinkedIn page, under “Scope of Practice”:

“… recommend integrative therapies where appropriate such as herbal medicines, homeopathic medicines, counseling, chiropractic care, acupuncture.”

She also uses the word “allopathic” a lot.

Quack quack.

Dangerous Bacon:

I am SO SORRY! I’m using a new borowed laptop and the scrolling function is wonky. Of course I only saw your post after I posted the identical comment.

Oh well, it never hurts to emphasize how useless homeopathy is and how the NDs scam their customers.

@ herr doktor bimler

one crushed rib-cage with pneumothorax

They could always follow the Mad Max’s school of emergency medicine and use a knife to puncture the ribcage, and then do a transfusion of their own blood to treat the internal bleeding.*

I prefer myself the Taltos treatment, as described by Steven Brust in Teckla. Only issue is finding two sword-sheaths, a jug of water and a candle, for the sterile intubation of the lungs’ cavity.

*Don’t try this home, kids. It won’t work.

@ Narad

homemade fermented foods

OT, sort of. Just be reading on maize overly contaminated with Fusarium mycotoxins in Summer 2012 in Italy, as reported by a local scientist.
Bit of nightmare fuel…

@ Anna Nordin

When I cover for a board certified M.D. and write the exact some prescriptions and refills and do the same testing they do

There is a bit more to MD work than filling prescriptions.
And that worries us is not when you do as a MD would, but when you don’t.

@RK: I don’t know about what doctors YOU are seeing, but I’ve never been to my primary care doctor where they haven’t reviewed my diet, encouraged me to exercise more, and asked about smoking, alcohol, work, life.

None of them have suggested slash and burn. I’ve only been put on medications (BP) AFTER the diet and exercise steps failed to keep my blood pressure in check. And at every visit the doctor reviews whether they can be stopped. (Unfortunately, genetics is against me in that circumstance.)

Maybe you just need to see a better set of doctors, and don’t start off by antagonizing them as pill pushers!

“There is barely a whisper about healthy eating, healthy lifestyle.The folks at SBM and their fans must live in some alternate universe.”

In my universe, my family doc focuses on things like optimal weight, correcting low vitamin D levels, avoiding excess drinking etc. I am sorry that your world is so different, and invite you to visit Earth instead.

“They usually want to talk about emergencies and acute situations where MDs do hold a major advantage.”

Funny, but it’s alties who seem to obsessively focus on advantages of “allopathic” medicine in emergency care (probably because it’s hard to convince people to schedule an appointment with a naturopath when experiencing severe belly pain or when they’ve been in a car crash).
I’ve also never been able to figure how alties can accept evidence-based medical principles when it comes to emergency care, but throw those same principles out the window when deciding on how to get their diabetes, heart disease, kidney problems etc. treated. I’m pretty sure ER docs get the same basic training and employ many of the same diagnostic methods and drugs as internists and other primary care physicians.

The “[alt practitioners] spend [vast amounts of time] with each patient” rather amuses me. They can do this for the simple reason that the ratio of practitioners to patient demand is extraordinarily low.

No wonder US is one of the least healthy country in the Western Hemisphere.

Maybe you could tell us what the most healthy countries in the Western Hemisphere are.
And then you could tell us what system of medical care they use.

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