Quack Quack!

Peter Wood

  • Article
  • April 07, 2008

Dr. Wallace Sampson, an NAS member, retired clinical professor of medicine at Stanford, and editor of The Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine, is concerned that the prestigious Institute of Medicine of the National Academies is working with the Minneapolis-based Bravewell Collaborative to present a conference next year on “Integrative Medicine.”  

The issue here is how far the medical establishment will bend to accommodate the popular trend for pseudoscientific remedies. NAS concerns itself with the assaults on reasoned inquiry in the traditional curriculum—and these are many. We should also be alert to the assault on science, which appears to be gaining momentum.  

"Alternative medicine," now designated "Integrative Medicine" has been particularly successful in its bid for mainstream respectability and is, as Dr. Sampson puts it, “creeping” into medical education. Some medical schools already teach alternative medicine classes and sponsor alternative medical “research” and training programs. Dr. Sampson hopes to rally NAS members, among others, to sign a letter aimed at persuading the Institute of Medicine to stiffen its spine -presumably without the help of astral auras, dilutions of duck livers, or magnetic mega-vitamins.   

Anyone who would like to help should contact him directly at [email protected] and place the term, "IOM letter" in the subject box. The letter will be sent to those interested for suggestions and eventual approval.

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