Musings of a Dinosaur

A Family Doctor in solo private practice; I may be going the way of the dinosaur, but I'm not dead yet.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Another Strategy for Defunding NCCAM

I have been as thrilled as others with the prospect of science regaining its rightful place as the driving ideology behind medical care in America, and I agree that defunding the wasteful and intellectually dishonest government agency known as the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine is an important start.

There is a nifty discussion on the blog Science-Based Medicine (which still hasn't been able to get rid of the sidebar ads for alternative medicine; I can't decide if this is funny or pitiful) that points out NCCAM is a political creation and as such, will require politics to successfully dismantle it. I believe another --additional -- strategy will be helpful:

If the next Surgeon General were to adopt the elimination of Quackery -- whether known as "alternative," "natural," "complementary" or "integrative" medicine -- as his or her major issue, that bully pulpit might help generate enough of a popular political groundswell to overcome the few credulous members of Congress who pushed the whole thing onto us in the first place.

Somehow, I don't think Sanjay Gupta is up for that, so I hope President Obama picks someone else.


At Mon Jan 26, 10:58:00 AM, Blogger Sara said...

As Carl Sagan put it, there is no complimentary or alternative or conventional medicine. There is medicine that works in a randomized trial, and that doesn't.

At Mon Jan 26, 04:34:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But....the wibble and the woo! They need a bail out!

At Tue Jan 27, 08:41:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A few years ago, my mother-in-law was complaining of a painful rash on her hip, which she was treating with over the counter ointments.
After over a week without relief, a family member convinced her that colloidal silver would solve her problem. My wife and I stepped in at this point and convinced her that she was dealing with something that required a professional. After a trip to her doctor, he started treatment for her shingles.

I don't think alternative medicine scares me nearly as much as the people that are willing to foresake science to fund what used to be known as snake oil.

At Tue Jan 27, 01:06:00 PM, Blogger Nurse K said...

As a nurse, I am grumpy that nurses are always trying to push for this crap and re-brand it as a "nursing" thing that we can and "should" do to help people. "Hey, you want to take this Reikki course or Healing Touch seminar?" Um, no.


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