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Latest Posts

Doctors, Voicing Concerns, And Fear Of Retaliation

Shouldn’t it be possible to voice a concern about a medical treatment, procedure, or claim without the fear of retaliation? If the claims are backed by science, then simply addressing my concerns would be enough.

Fear of retaliation silences discussion. Fear of retaliation makes it difficult to do the “right thing” when the public or an individual patient is at risk.

This incidence involves a British plastic surgeon threatened with libel action by the ‘Boob Job’ cream’s manufacturer after she voiced concerns/doubts of its effectiveness. Sense About Science has a great summary of the entire affair: ”Plastic surgeon threatened for comment on ‘Boob Job’ cream.” Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Suture for a Living*

Food And Pesticides: The Dirty Dozen

Fruits and VegetablesThe Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a non-profit focused on public health. We know that the long-term consequences of eating chemicals from pesticides used on our foods is damaging to our health.

The EWG analyzed data from the FDA and found that people who eat five fruits and vegetables a day from the “Dirty Dozen” are eating 10 pesticides a day. We want people to eat more fruits and vegetables, but NOT to ingest more chemicals. Rinsing reduces but does not eliminate pesticides. So what’s the answer? Rinse completely and buy the “Dirty Dozen” foods organic whenever possible. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at EverythingHealth*

Science Based Medicine – Your Best Shot At Truth

Regular readers of my blog will know that health fraud, misleading product and treatment claims, and deception of vulnerable populations (snake oil for cancer patients, for example) really get under my skin. For this reason, I’ve teamed up with a group of scientists and physicians to create a blog devoted to medical accuracy, transparency, and integrity in health reporting. It’s called Science Based Medicine, and we offer daily exposés of misleading health claims and practices. It’s a great way to learn about how to think critically – and to apply a scientific approach (rather than subjective and anecdotal) to discerning truth from error.

My contribution to the blogging team is to highlight online health fraud, scams, deception and misguided attempts to help consumers “live healthier lives.” I post once a week, every Thursday morning. Please head on over and check it out. It’s a great team of bloggers – and they’re looking out for you!

Here is a list of my recent posts:

A Shruggie Awakening: One Physician’s Journey Toward Scientific Enlightenment

Disintegrating Integrative Medicine: Lessons From Baking

When Further Research Is Not Warranted: The Wisdom of Crowds Fallacy

Knowledge Vs. Expertise: The View From Consumer Land

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

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How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

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Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

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