Should Evidence-Based Medicine Be Replaced By Interpersonal 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 Journal of Medicine carried an opinion

Leaky Brain, Leaky Gut: Are They Real?

First there was leaky gut; now there’s leaky brain. These questionable concepts are being promoted by practitioners of so-called “functional medicine.” First there was leaky gut  Three years ago Mark Crislip wrote about leaky gut syndrome for SBM. He said, “because of an almost complete lack of supporting basic science and few therapeutic clinical trials showing no effect,

Molecular Phylogenetics: A New Way to Tell the Story of Evolution

The new science of molecular phylogenetics tells the story of evolution with no need to consult the fossil record. It has produced some surprises, including a whole new domain of life, the archaea. Darwin’s 1859 book On the Origin of Species was a well-written, well-argued introduction to evolution, to the theory that populations evolve and species differentiate

Gold Water, Silver Water, Copper Water

Ayurveda recommends gold water, silver water, and copper water to treat various conditions. There is no evidence that they work or even that they contain gold, silver, or copper. From Kangen water to oxygenated water, there are enough pseudoscientific and quacky water offerings to fill an entire website devoted to water-related pseudoscience, fantasy, and quackery.

AAFP Promotes Acupuncture

The AAFP is not following its own standards for CME. Its monograph on Musculoskeletal Therapies devotes 1/4 of its content to acupuncture, dry needling, and cupping; and one of its four “key practice recommendations” is to consider electroacupuncture for fibromyalgia. Jann Bellamy recently wrote about the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP) and their policy

More About Flu Vaccine

More evidence that flu shots work, that they are safe during pregnancy, and that they don’t cause autism. Last week I wrote about influenza vaccines. I provided a link to a site summarizing the evidence that flu shots are effective and safe. Nevertheless, one reader commented “The flu vaccine does not work,” citing a Cochrane

Flu Shots: It’s That Time Again

Flu shots are safe and effective. They not only protect the recipient but others in the community who are more vulnerable. Get your flu shot! It’s that time of the year again: time to get our flu shots. Flu shots are undeniably safe and effective, although they are not as effective as we might wish.

Rapid-onset Gender Dysphoria and Squelching Controversial Evidence

A flawed study suggested that rapid onset gender dysphoria around the time of puberty might be a result of peer pressure and media influence. It raised some important questions, but Brown University succumbed to pressure from activists and removed it from its website. On August 16, 2018, Lisa Littman, an assistant professor at Brown University,

Estrogen Matters

Hormone replacement therapy in menopause is safer and more effective than we have been led to believe. A new book examines the evidence and sets the record straight. Estrogen replacement stops hot flashes cold and is a veritable Fountain of Youth. Estrogen replacement is dangerous: it kills women. It prevents heart disease. It causes heart

Gender Dysphoria in Children

Gender transitions are becoming more and more common. Adults can make informed decisions about hormone treatments and gender reassignment surgeries, but what about children? In 1952, front page headlines trumpeted “Ex-GI Becomes Blonde Beauty.” George Jorgensen was an American army veteran who had sex reassignment surgery in Denmark and returned to the US as a