The following is email communication between me and Dr. David Gorski at Science Based Medicine regarding the integrative medicine lecture series that has been started at UND in Grand Forks. The Next lecture is schedule on April 19,noon at the Reed Keller Lecture Hall room 1350. It is on Science, Medicine, Human Bias and the Future of Healing. This one is being presented by a person who graduated from San Francisco Seminary and is pastor a Presbyterian church in Crookston Minn. He is co-founder of a "Center for Spirituality, Healing, and the Arts." It is run by a Family Doc I am sorry to say that also does homeopathy, acupuncture, message etc.
As an avid reader and part time commenter I am forwarding the following to you for your education. I am ashamed to say that my colleague is temporary co-chair of the department of integrative medicine at University of North Dakota. They have started a lecture series. John Fischer MD gave the school money to start this endeavor. They have also started a integrative medicine rotation for medical students. Please see the flyer under the description of the event for further elucidation.
I have started to develop an evolutionary medicine lecture at my residency site in part to counteract the integrative medicine woo. I have been in contact with our dean. I have let him know that U. of Buckingham in the U.K. has canceled its integrative medicine course because of too much quackery. I don't know what else to do to counter act this intrusion on the integrity of the institution. Your thoughts and suggestions would be appreciated.
The following is the response:
This is a tough one, one where _____ has more experience than I. (I'm lucky enough that there isn't much woo at my medical school or cancer center.)
_____ might be able to elaborate, but he had a lot of success by simply getting the course materials from CAM courses and showing them to the dean. People don't believe that CAM can be that woo-ful when you tell them, but if you show them they have to believe.
The problem is that the UND school of medicine got this grant to start this department. Also a course for students and residents are available. I agree that students and residents should be exposed to what is out there as far as alternative medicine. The problem is when you start teaching it as a legitimate course of study then the consequences in the future could be disastrous, especially in an academic setting. This is a designed strategy by CAM to infiltrate medicine and gain an air of legitimacy. It is wrong to teach woo as real when students and residents are too busy trying to learn real scientific medicine and don't have the time or the mental skills to cull out the woo. It also enforce to the lay public non scientific "healing" measures as legitimate, when they are not and can be harmful. The lecturer has no credentials in to talk on anything in medicine or training to provide support for his assertions, so to promote his as though he does is ingenuous as best and dishonest at worst.