Science has made great strides in understanding, treating, and preventing HIV/AIDS. We can hope for an AIDS vaccine, but meanwhile there is a pill that can markedly reduce the risk of becoming infected. Truvada: a good alternative while we wait for an AIDS vaccine. Image taken from the NIAID flickr page with… read more "There’s No Vaccine for HIV/AIDS, But There’s Truvada"
People are being encouraged to worry about the pH of their skin and to try to change it. These concerns and interventions are not supported by scientific evidence. You have probably heard of the alkaline diet. Public knowledge of pH, the scale by which acids and bases are measured, is… read more "Skin pH: Salesmanship, Not Science"
The editor-in-chief of The New England Journal of Medicine has selected a dozen articles published during his tenure that epitomize the best of science-based medicine. This is the Science-Based Medicine blog, but all too often we talk about things that are not science-based medicine. Examining what is not science-based medicine is a good way… read more "The Best Science from The New England Journal of Medicine"
Rodin’s Thinker is doing his best to think but if he hasn’t learned critical thinking skills, he is likely to make mistakes. The human brain is prone to a multitude of cognitive errors. Critical thinking in medicine is what the Science-Based Medicine (SBM) blog is all about. Jonathan Howard has… read more "Critical Thinking in Medicine"
An opinion piece in the New England Journal of Medicine complains about the limitations of evidence-based medicine (EBM) and recommends a new approach they call “interpersonal medicine.” In my opinion, good clinical medicine is already interpersonal medicine; there is no need for something new. The 22 November 2018 issue of The New England… read more "Should Evidence-Based Medicine Be Replaced By Interpersonal Medicine?"
April 17, 2012 Eric Topol, MD, has written a book about the convergence of the digital revolution and medicine. It is full of fascinating information and prognostication, but I wish he had given it a better title. He called it The Creative Destruction of Medicine: How the Digital Revolution Will… read more "The Future of Medicine"
Joseph Mercola, D.O., runs the website mercola.com which is full of misinformation, advocates all kinds of questionable alternative treatments including homeopathy, and discourages vaccination and other aspects of conventional medicine. Like Dr. Oz and Andrew Weil, he is more dangerous than easily recognizable quacks in that he combines some good medical information with… read more "Colonoscopy: More Misinformation from Mercola"
I recently got an email from a gentleman who told me I was wrong about many things because I “come from an era of incomplete medical education and information.” He rambled on but had two main points: modern doctors fail to recognize a kind of allergy that defies standard diagnosis… read more "Coca’s Pulse Testing to Diagnose “Allergies”"
Alternative medicine proponents criticize mainstream medicine and think they can do better. Evidence from medical journals shows that their criticisms are not valid. Advocates of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), including naturopaths and functional medicine practitioners, constantly criticize mainstream medicine. The recurrent themes are: And of course, CAM advocates present themselves as… read more "Mainstream Doctors Actually Do What CAM Claims They Don’t"
Consumer Reports’ recent articles on low back pain address anecdotal customer satisfaction rather than scientific evidence of effectiveness. A correspondent e-mailed me, saying: “I received my latest issue of Consumer Reports with great interest because the cover story is about back pain. However after reading the article I walked away disappointed. How… read more "Consumer Reports Misses the Boat on Back Pain"