A recent episode of The Zoo:San Diego featured acupuncture quackery at the San Diego Zoo. But it’s even worse than that. Tembo the elephant was subjected to more than just acupuncture quackery.
Tad Sztykowski is an acupuncturist who lost his acupuncture license for misrepresenting himself as a physician. His case is a good illustration of why licensing quack specialties like acupuncture is bad policy.
Last month, HB 4710, a bill to license acupuncturists, was considered by the Michigan House of Representatives Health Policy Committee. If passed into law, HB 4710 would do far more than license the quackery that is acupuncture. It would also expand the scope of practice of acupuncturists to include homeopathy, “health coaching”, and dietary advice, and is yet another example of what practitioners of pseudoscientific medicine crave: State-granted legitimacy.
In May JAMA published a negative study of acupucnture and in vitro fertilization. Dr. Carlo Giovanardi, a physician and leader in acupuncture in Italy, was not pleased. As acupuncturists frequently do, he is now making excuses.
The Department of Family Medicine at the University of Michigan has embraced integrating quackery with medicine in its “integrative medicine” program. But what is it teaching its trainees? Unfortunately, I’ve started to find out.