Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Testing and Integrative Medicine

Every year in residencies there is something called inservice exams. It is not meant for grades or even to determine passing on to the next level in residency, it is meant as a tool for residency faculty to measure how well they are doing and the progress of the residents in their care. We have been going through the exam and going over the scores with our residents. To my astonishment we have been told that this years exam had a lot of integrative medicine questions in it. The horror and maybe I shouldn't have been surprised. But, this is only a sign of the inroads this form of quackery has made into science based medicine. For that reason we should probably not call it science based any more. Modern medicine is only 150 years old and has made exceptional gains in providing health care that works. The legacy of Pastuer, Olser, Lister, Smeelwies, Halsted and others has been the modern form of residency in the United States and treatment of patients based on evidence, not wishes, hopes or magic. That all seems to be for naught now, or at least appears as so. Even a integrative medicine curiculum is being offered through my program and 5 residents have signed up. What is interesting all seem to be from the subcontinent and have as a tradition going to astrologers to help them find auspicious dates for their marriages, is there some link to gullibility in a tradition or desire not to offend the gods etc here? I hope this is a passing fad. I am all for learning about the frauds, hucksters and charltons to better able to recognise and fight BS, but?
Peace Skeptical DoDo

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