Clinical trials Complementary and alternative medicine Integrative medicine Medicine Skepticism/critical thinking

A bait-and-switch study of acupuncture in stable chronic angina

This week, JAMA Internal Medicine published a clinical trial purporting to find that acupuncture helps stable angina. Here’s a hint: It doesn’t. It’s a bait-and-switch study that used “electroacupuncture” instead of acupuncture with poor blinding and lack of consideration of prior plausibility.

Complementary and alternative medicine Integrative medicine Medicine Quackery Skepticism/critical thinking

“Practice drift”: A feature, not a bug, in “integrative medicine”

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.

Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine Pseudoscience Quackery

Credulous promotion of “integrating” quackery into medicine

Over the last 25 years, medical academia has increasingly embraced “integrative medicine” (i.e., the “integration” of pseudoscience and quackery with medicine). However, it has had help normalizing this new situation. That help comes from the press. Here’s yet another example.

Medicine Pseudoscience Quackery Skepticism/critical thinking

Integrative medicine as infiltrative pseudoscience: Pushback against quackery

For a quarter of a century, quackery and pseudoscience have been integrated into medicine through the construct of “integrative medicine” and into academic medicine in the form of quackademic medicine. Unfortunately, there has been little pushback. That’s why it’s good to see a recent article in The Surgeon decrying this phenomenon. We need more of this.

Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine Pseudoscience Skepticism/critical thinking

The placebo narrative: Justifying integrative medicine through exaggeration

I write quite a bit about placebo effects. Of course, part of the reason is that placebo effects are just plain interesting from a scientific perspective. After all, if one can relieve symptoms with inert sugar pills or other ineffective interventions because of the power of expectation, that’s something we should want to understand. Also, […]