Thursday, October 08, 2009

The American Medical Student Association and the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine

---may not want you to see this paper.

A few years ago the NIH and the NCCAM awarded a grant to the AMSA Foundation to help introduce CAM curricula at 14 MD and DO granting medical schools. The AMSA project was known as EDCAM.

Investigators in the department of Medicine at Baylor looked at the curricula and concluded, in September's issue of Academic Medicine (my emphasis):

The authors reviewed the educational material concerning four popular CAM therapies-herbal remedies, chiropractic, acupuncture, and homeopathy-posted on the integrative medicine Web sites of the grant recipients and compared it with the best evidence available. The curricula on the integrative medicine sites were strongly biased in favor of CAM, many of the references were to poor-quality clinical trials, and they were five to six years out of date. These “evidence-based CAM” curricula, which are used all over the country, fail to meet the generally accepted standards of evidence-based medicine. By tolerating this situation, health professions schools are not meeting their educational and ethical obligations to learners, patients, or society.

Well, we didn't need a formal survey to reach the conclusion in that last sentence. This is what Orac and I and a few other bloggers have been pointing out for some time. The background of this paper offers an insightful glimpse into the antecedents of quackademic medicine.

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