Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Medical school pseudoscience is pervasive

When I first began researching the antiscientific agenda in medical education I thought it was confined to isolated examples popping up here and there. I was wrong. It’s become organized. There’s a consortium of academic medical centers pushing for more pseudoscience in the curriculum. Is your favorite med school on the list?


Jacob said...

YOu are jokin right? These people are doing research. I don't get why you would discount something just because it is not mainstream big-pharma funded. If a well-researched alternative to the traditional treatments turns out to be effective - I woudl call this SCIENCE .. and your knee-jerk rejection of all things "integrative" to be the pseudo-science. Shame on you!

R. W. Donnell said...

Thanks for your comment. Perhaps you've misunderstood my position regarding alt med. I want to clarify my stance on this issue and address certain misconceptions. I plan to do this in a follow up blog post. Stay tuned. rwd

mchebert said...

While I have agreed with you in the past in your criticism of alternative medicine, I am with Jacob here. You have jumped the shark if you think this consortium is pseudo-science.

Any approach to medicine that uses rigorous scientific study to establish its principles is science, not pseudoscience. Science is not a set of rules or laws. It is a method of inquiry. Any conclusion drawn using proper methodology is science, period.

I do not see anything wrong with an approach to medicine that focuses on the doctor patient relationship. Our humanity is sometimes all we have. We can't cure everything yet.

R. W. Donnell said...

Dr. Hebert,
I agree with investigation according to scientifically rigorous standards, no matter whose. There is some legitimate research going on in CAM, which I applaud (see my blogpost in response to Jacob's comments). I have browsed the material form the consortium extensively, particularly the curriculum guide and the programs of the individual medical schools represented. And while some valid research is represented there I found so much uncritical promotion of scientifically baseless notions of "energy alignment" and such that I have to conclude that they are pushing pseudoscience. You can't package good science and mysticism together---you end up with an ecclectic mix that has no definition and no consistent base. Finally, I don't think a science based approach precludes attention to the doctor-patient relationship.