A week ago, The Toronto Sun published a syndicated column by a pseudonymous Canadian doctor, Dr. W. Gifford-Jones. The column was packed with antivaccine misinformation and pseudoscience. Apparently due to complaints, the article was taken down after an uproar, but is still available on the website of at least one other Canadian newspaper. How is it that a physician who writes such twaddle can be syndicated in over 70 newspapers?
How would you like a jacket with 7,000 miniature nontoxic plastic spikes lining it to stimulate those acupressure points? Have I got a jacket for you! Introducing...the Yogi Jacket! It's woo-tactic!
Functional medicine (FM) is "make it up as you go along" quackery that combines the "worst of both worlds," namely the overtesting and overtreatment that can plague conventional medicine plus the quackery "integrated" into "integrative medicine." It's rare to see a mainstream outlet get it right about FM, but an Irish journalist pulls it off.
Contrary to the stereotype of antivaccinationists as hippy-dippy left wing granola crunchers, in actuality antivaccine pseudoscience is the pseudoscience is the pseudoscience that knows no political boundaries. Unfortunately, that doesn't mean that both parties are equivalent. Unfortunately, thanks to the co-opting of conservative activism by antivaxers, the Republican Party in 2018 has become the antivaccine party.
From the viewpoint of hospital administration, patient satisfaction is increasingly the be-all and end-all of how doctors are evaluated, and it is assumed that patient satisfaction is highly correlated with quality of care. Unfortunately, patient satisfaction ≠ quality. A new study shows this very phenomenon in an outpatient setting.
ICD-10 is a standardized system of alphanumeric codes for diagnoses maintained by the World Health Organization used throughout the world for billing, epidemiology, research, and cataloging causes of death. Its successor, ICD-11, is now complete and set to be formally adopted by WHO. Unfortunately, thanks to the influence of ideologues and the Chinese government, ICD-11 appears to be taking the “integration” of traditional medicine to a whole new level by integrating quack diagnoses with real diagnoses.
Barbara Loe Fisher, Joe Mercola, and other antivaxers frequently deny that the flu is dangerous and that all the promotion of flu vaccines every year is a plot by big pharma to make money based on fear. The CDC argues otherwise, reporting that influenza mortality last season was higher than iit's been in decades. Roughly 80,000 people are estimated to have died last season from influenza or complications from the flu.
Aromatase inhibitors are antiestrogen drugs frequently used to treat breast cancer. Unfortunately, they can cause significant joint pain. A recent study of acupuncture for joint pain caused by these drugs was basically negative, but the authors did their best to spin it as positive. Same as it ever was for acupuncture studies.
Two prominent advocates of "integrative medicine" bemoan the "practice drift" they see in their specialty, in which doctors drift farther and farther away from their training. What this means is (although it would never be admitted) is that these "integrative medicine" doctors are drifting further and further into quackery. Too bad this is a feature, not a bug.
I was invited to discuss vaccines with antivaxers for a panel called One Conversation. Recognizing an antivaccine trap, I politely declined. Unfortunately, other legitimate medical authorities did not, thus enabling the illusion of legitimization of antivaccine views.