The DOTmed news piece describes how AMSA is stepping up the efforts of its PharmFree Campaign to try and rid the academic medical environment of the effects of industry promotions:
"It is important that we work to keep our medical schools and teaching hospitals free of the influence of pharmaceutical companies," said AMSA National President Jay Bhatt. "PharmFree medical students become PharmFree doctors and that commitment to evidence-based medicine benefits our patients and our colleagues."
Read that again. Note he said evidence-based medicine. It’s all well and good until you read the Health Issues Unmasked post from just days earlier describing AMSA’s other big initiative for med schools that’s not so evidence based:
The American Medical Student Association (AMSA) Foundation has just ended a pilot study designed to develop a curriculum for including complementary/ alternative medicine (CAM) training in MD and DO programs nationwide. The study, conducted at six medical schools, was financed with a $1.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicin (NCCAM).
That’s right, they’re getting support from NCCAM. They trumpet the fact that they eschew all pharmaceutical industry sponsorship, in the name of evidence based medicine, while accepting a $1.2 million dollar grant from arguably the nation’s most organized and powerful promoter of pseudoscience.
The Health Issues blog post links to the AMSA website for its CAM educational initiatives where their guiding principle is explained:
Medicine today is experiencing a paradigm shift that involves the blending of two disparate philosophies of health and disease, the biomedical or scientific reductionist view and the clinical, experiential holistic view.
But you can’t blend scientific methods with “disparate philosophies”. Science is what it is only because certain absolute rules apply to how we interpret observations. The scientific foundations of medical education are undermined when they are blended with pseudoscience and metaphysical presuppositions. Abraham Flexner, almost a century ago, referred to such presuppositions as dogma and warned that medical schools must not compromise science with dogma. Medical education, influenced by the AMSA and its accomplices at NCCAM, is turning its back on Flexner’s warning.