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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Word of the month(well the year so far) is Quackademics

Hats off to Dr. RW for his coining of the term quackademics. His relentless battles against the forces of altie medicine and quackery sliding into the halls and curriculum of medical school and in the mind sets of at least some members of the SAMA is appreciated. ORAC has been doggedly pursuing this issue for some time and keeps us up to date with his Academic Woo Aggregator which list the academic centers who have their fingers in the altie pie and there are more than one web sites devoted to the exposing of medical quackeries and woo. Alumni of a number of very well known and respected medical schools cannot be happy when they see their schools teaching reiki which may not be the most absurd thing ever but it is close.Orac gives some alarming information about where reiki can be found.

The phenomenon of the establishment of so-called alternative medicine into a number of medical schools itself is perplexing. How, why ? Dr RW offers some reasonable explanations for this with money leading the list. I've wondered about the role of political correctness and the influence of post-modernistic thought as has RW and a recent commenter to his blog about the state of affairs in some medical school down under. I hope things aren't as absurd there as the commenter relates.

The medical blog world has been percolating various thoughts about this issue for some time which is a good thing but as Dr RW points out a larger movement is needed if this absurd trend is to be reversed. The choir is convinced . A recent discussion on Medscape might have helped a bit and alerted more physicians to the issue and I think the ire of well healed alumni putting pressure on their alma matters might not hurt although I am not aware of much of that actually happening. However, the combination of money ( from patient services paid for in cash and the infusion of grant money) plus the effect of the rhetoric of political correctness and post modernism BS are formidable forces pushing things very much in the wrong direction. I fear that we are not that close to a tripping point to turn the tide. If any one has any ideas, let me know; we retired folks have time on our hands.

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