The First Woman Doctor in America

This book about the first woman doctor in America contains fascinating details about the Blackwell sisters, their struggles, and the times they lived in. Elizabeth Blackwell is to be commended for her accomplishments, but it appears that she was not a nice person. This is a review of the book The Doctors Blackwell: How Two Pioneering

Illness, Healing, and Other Terms That Can Be Confusing

Disease vs. Illness The words “disease” and “illness” are often used interchangeably, but their meanings are very different. Diseases are biomedical entities where there is impairment of the normal functioning of the body. Illness refers to the way a patient experiences a sickness. There can be disease without illness and illness without disease. Diseases may

Gender Dysphoria in Adolescents

Note from Dr. Harriet “SkepDoc” Hall: I now have the dubious distinction of being the only author on the Science-Based Medicine website to have ever had an article retracted, my book review of Irreversible Damage: The Transgender Craze Seducing Our Daughters by Abigail Shrier. Michael Shermer promptly republished it on Skeptic.com at https://www.skeptic.com/reading_room/trans-science-review-of-abigail-shier-irreversible-damage-transgender-craze-seducing-our-daughters/  SBM’s retraction

InstaHard: Hard to Believe, Easy to Laugh At

InstaHard is advertised in a stupid video as a cure for erectile dysfunction and other sexual problems. The claims are unbelievable, but they are good entertainment; they made me laugh. Oh, no, not again! Yet another video promoting an untested mixture of dietary supplements. I’m not looking for these stupid videos, but they keep finding

The Natural Medicine Handbook

Dr. Walt Larimore has written a very mixed bag of a book, combining useful general advice about supplements and “natural medicine” with some questionable specifics about individual products. Walt Larimore, MD, is a family physician, a medical journalist, a best-selling author, and a Christian evangelist whose organization Focus on the Family has as a goal, “To cooperate

Okinawan Flat Belly Tonic

Okinawa Flat Belly Tonic is yet another scam weight loss product made up of a random grab-bag of vitamins, minerals, and powders. A message appeared in my email in-box with the subject line “bulging belly”. It turned out to be an advertisement for another way to supposedly lose weight without diet or exercise, the Okinawa

Craniosacral Therapy Is Bogus but DOs Are Required to Learn It

The standard textbook used in many schools of osteopathic medicine includes a lamentable chapter on cranial manipulation. It is clearly biased and fails to meet the minimal standards of science-based medicine. Craniosacral manipulation therapy is bogus, and it should no longer be taught to DOs or feature on their exams. Craniosacral therapy (CST) is practiced

A Blood Test for Fibromyalgia?

The FM/a test is advertised as a definitive test to diagnose fibromyalgia. It isn’t definitive. It is expensive. It has not been shown to change patient outcomes. I was surprised to learn that there is a blood test to diagnose fibromyalgia, the FM/a test. Is it accurate? Is it useful? Fibromyalgia is still a disputed

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