About a month ago, I discussed a rather disturbing development, namely the initiative by Dr. Andrew Weil to set up something he was going to call the American Board of Integrative Medicine, all for the purpose of practicing “integrative medicine” (IM), or, as I prefer to call them, physicians who like to integrate pseudoscience with their science, quackery with their medicine. ? Yes. Accurate? . Unfortunately, many medical centers, both academic and community, are while more and more medical schools . While one might expect Josephine Briggs of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) to , depressingly, even current director of the National Institutes of Health, Francis Collins, seems to have .
As was , this decision to create a board certification in IM was a huge about-face in that Weil had always argued that IM should be infused into all specialties of medicine. What happened, of course, is that once again won out over idealism. Dr. Weil was concerned that there were lots of physicians and practitioners out there claiming to practice “integrative” medicine, many of whom had no qualifications in the field. At this point, the wag in me can’t resist pointing out that, given that IM “integrates” pseudoscience with science and that there really are no standards, scientific or otherwise, to guide IM practitioners (mainly because so much of IM is rank pseudoscience), why would this matter? The answer, again, comes down to branding and turf protection.
All of this is why seeing the reactions to Dr. Weil’s initiative from members of the “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM) and IM community is very instructive. Fortunately, John Weeks of the Integrator Blog has come through again, quoting over twenty different people, including physicians, naturopaths, chiropractors, journalists, and other IM practitioners in an article entitled, appropriately enough, . Yours truly is even mentioned (disparagingly, of course).
Uncharacteristically (for me), I’ll cut to the chase and tell you the results before I show you some of the quotes (with, of course, my own translation of what the IM-speak really means). Basically, physicians practicing IM tend to love what Dr. Weil is doing. All other practitioners (chiropractors, naturopaths, etc.) hate it. Of course, that’s not a big surprise given that Weil’s plan would in essence cut out all non-physician IM practitioners from being able to call themselves “integrative physicians” or, at the very least, to relegate them to a lower, non-board-certified rung in the practice hierarchy, which, I suspect, was the point all along. Andrew Weil wants IM to be “respectable,” and to him it will only become so if the riff-raff (i.e., non-physicians) are excluded.
A typical reaction from MDs can be found from doctors like , the medical director for complementary and alternative medicine for the . (Remind me never to use an Alexian Brothers-affiliated hospital) In any case, Dr. Massey, a graduate of Dr. Weil’s IM residency, is very happy:
Certification is a topic that is long overdue.
Integrative medicine is a complex area of medicine that incorporates many aspects of traditional and nontraditional medicine: formal education is important. Considering how many people are blending medicine on their own, it is important for them to have qualified physicians to make sure they are not doing anything dangerous.
It cannot be done by primary care physicians. They are barely able to keep abreast of the recommendations for diabetes, HTN and CAD. Integrative medicine is not remotely in their sphere of expertise, nor the expertise of PAs and NPs, unless specifically trained in integrative medicine.
Again, one wonders what science-based standards exist to guide IM practitioners. I’ve asked the question before many times: When do you choose acupuncture versus, say, homeopathy? Or will MD IM practitioners finally admit that homeopathy is nothing more than pure quackery with no basis in basic or clinical science but a huge basis in prescientific magical beliefs? Or how do you know what herb you should use? Or when is chiropractic more appropriate than other therapies? They don’t know. There’s no real science behind many of the modalities that fall under the rubric of IM.
One physician, Richard “Buz” Cooper, MD, pointed out something that, quite frankly, hadn’t occurred to me but should have:
This is just one more of example of Weil’s entrepreneurial reach. It will enhance his 1,000 hour costly and profitable training program. He is pursuing it through a rump group, the American Board of PHYSICIAN Specialties [ABPS], which “certifies” a few marginal specialties (e.g., urgent care), rather than through the American Board of MEDICAL Specialties [ABMS], the recognized authority, which certifies legitimate specialties and which apparently has turned down the idea of certifying Weil’s Integrative Medicine. Tainting the emerging discipline of Integrative Medicine with ‘Weil’s Entrepreneurism’ will push it in the wrong direction and be a disservice to generations of patients.
You know, I really should have thought of this one myself when I wrote . Dr. Cooper makes a devastatingly accurate point about how Dr. Weil has chosen to seek board certification for IM through a less-than-respected board, namely the American Board of Physician Specialties. It’s very obvious that the ABMS wouldn’t be interested in Dr. Weil’s plan; so he looked elsewhere. Weeks, ever the Weil apologist, criticizes Dr. Cooper for “personalizing” his commentary against Dr. Weil. While this is to some extent a legitimate point, it’s also legitimate to point out that Dr. Weil’s residency program in IM would become a whole lot more desirable, both to graduating medical students and, more importantly, to the medical schools and residency programs to which Weil franchises his program, if IM became more respected as a specialty and especially if there were a real board certification in the specialty. (The two, of course, often go together.) Moreover, there’s more to personal interest than just money. Weil is an ideologue who wants to spread his “faith” of IM to as many people as possible. Indeed, Weeks basically admits this in response to Dr. Cooper when he points out, “He is investing in something that may swell the historic importance of his work. Big egos are often associated with good things. Who isn’t seeking to have more rather than less positive impact?” And IM is lucrative, as are Weil’s many, many other business interests related to IM.
Interestingly, and perhaps not surprisingly, those most vociferously opposed to Dr. Weil’s program were all chiropractors. I say “not surprisingly” because of the history of battles between chiropractic and the American Medical Association. For example. chiropractor Lou Sportelli comments:
Look at the Medical board of this proposed group, I care not who they are, but what they know. It will take a lot of convincing to get me to believe that this is nothing more than the old medical model at work in three stages.
- Take over
The AMA was notorious for doing this to any thing that was not allopathic. This is their modus operandi and they had been successful with it until folks got wise.
Dr. Weil and his new idea are not so novel, but are highly suspect. Sounds like a lot of hype and no substance
Chiropractor James Winterstein:
[This is] an interesting move on their part. Down deep, I fear it is more of the same – dominance at all costs – in a circumstance over which they have had little control (the interest by the public in alternative medicine). Now, they form a specialty and take it [over]. I hate to say it, but I think that is a likely probability. We have already seen them work toward usurping our ‘tools.’ I don’t like the sound of this, John.
Chiropractor and homeopath Nancy Gahles:
You KNOW [the MDs] will get the juice because they are the REAL doctors. The ones you can trust. What do they even study to make them ‘integrative’? Homeopathy? NO. Functional medicine…betcha! Little nutraceutical is now the new Big Pharma. Please tell me I am dead off base here, please!
My comment is that this looks like a duck, walks like a duck and acts like a duck: co-opting integrative healthcare, calling it integrative MEDICINE and creating a Board Specialty will identify integrative healthcare with medical doctors and they will own it, be reimbursed for it and thereby drive consumers to use them only as they will get insurance for it.
One notes that is described as someone who “has been the modern leader in pushing the field of homeopathy into the nation’s health policy dialogue” as the president of the . I never thought I’d be in partial agreement with a homeopath, but what Gahles says is more or less what I said in my when I pointed out that Weil’s desire to infuse all medical specialties with his woo apparently can’t stand up to the cold, hard reality of how medicine really works. I’ve also pointed out that excluding the real woo, such as homeopathy, from IM is but a tiny first step in trying to make the specialty into something respectable.
Perhaps the most amusing retort from a chiropractor comes from Stephen Marini. Unfortunately, it’s not amusing because it’s a devastating criticism of Andrew Weil and the concept of board certification for IM. It’s unintentionally hilarious because…well, just read for yourself how he describes himself as “a vitalist trained in classical science and conventional medicine” who appreciates “the role of energy/information on an individual’s health and healing processes.” Also note that the link to information on Marini used by Weeks on that repository of all pseudoscience and conspiracy theories Whale.to and that Marini is on the (ICPA). With that background, you can truly appreciate Marini’s criticism of Dr. Weil in its proper context:
The concept of a medical specialty in integrative medicine is inherently contradictory. The paradigm of conventional medicine is reductionistic, hierarchical, & mutually exclusive to other paradigms of health and healing. So to ponder the concept of such a medical doctor would require drastic changes on a medical, anthropologic, sociologic, political levels etc…..
What is needed within a complementary system is a new species of health care provider that can appropriately triage a patient with regard to Era 1, Era 2 & Era 3 health care components.
If Era III reminds you of , you will be forgiven. So what does Marini mean by “Era 3″? Apparently this:
- Era I Medicine: Allopathic Therapies. Paradigm: CHEMISTRY – STRUCTURE – FUNCTION
- ERA II Medicine: Holistic/Holoenergetic Therapies. Paradigm: ENERGY – CHEMISTRY – STRUCTURE – FUNCTION
- ERA III Medicine: Intercessory Therapies. Paradigm: UNIFIED – ENERGY – CHEMISTRY – STRUCTURE – FUNCTION FIELDS
I say this in particular because following another link from the Whale.to entry on Marini leads to a that Marini provided to Jochim Shafer, who apparently wrote a book entitled The Trial of the Medical Mafia, in which Marini states bluntly that there ” is no credible scientific evidence to negate the hypothesis that vaccines cause immediate or delayed damage to the immune and nervous systems of children resulting in a rise in auto-immune and neurological disorders including asthma, learning disabilities, hyperactivity, autism, chronic fatigue syndrome, lupus, diabetes, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Guillain-Barre Syndrome, and other diseases.” He concludes that the “universal compulsory vaccination of all healthy children should be halted.”
You know, I think I’ll stick with Era 1 medicine, thank you very much, especially if in Era 3 medicine I have to rely in intercessory therapies and am not allowed to vaccinate children against infectious disease. After all, intercessory prayer has been shown more than once not to work, and vaccines have arguably saved more lives than all other science-based medical interventions combined. Say what you will about Andrew Weil (and we at SBM have certainly said a lot), I’ve never perceived him as being anti-vaccine. Marini clearly is.
In the five weeks or so since I wrote the first installment about Dr. Weil’s initiative to develop a board certification for IM, I’ve thought a bit about what the intent might be and what the consequences might come to be. The more I think about this, the more I think that the chiropractors and naturopaths who don’t like the plan are probably perceiving it quite correctly. It is a dagger aimed right at their hearts, and it is MDs who are holding the hilt. Dr. Weil’s denials notwithstanding, led by Dr. Weil, the pro-woo physician contingent is trying to make sure that no non-physician specialty can claim to be “integrative physicians.” It’s a big deal, too. If you don’t believe just how much it matters to non-physician CAM/IM practitioners to be able to claim the title “physician,” read .
As I said before, this in and of itself might not be that bad a thing in that many of the practitioners being targeted base their practices on nothing more than prescientific vitalism tarted up with science-y-sounding language. Certainly acupuncturists, chiropractors, homeopaths, and, yes, naturopaths do this. Making it harder for them to practice their non-science-based placebo medicine is probably a good thing, as would be increasing the scientific rigor of what passes for “integrative medicine” now.
Unfortunately, I don’t see that happening. What I do see happening is that, like the Thing in , Weil will try to kill off the non-physician “integrative” practitioners but after doing so he will take on their appearance, just as the monster in The Thing took on the appearance of the people it killed. (Hey, it’s Halloween; I had to pick a horror movie metaphor.) In doing so, he will then permanently infect the entire body of academic medicine with the virus that is IM. At least, that is his plan. He has, after all, said as much.
<!–<!–(1) creating a system of board certification for physicians
(3) Also yes
(4) hopping on the IM bandwagon
(5) are “integrating” pseudoscience into their curricula
(6) be cozy with IM
(7) fallen into the trap
(8) admitted by Dr. Weil and his colleagues
(10) Integrator Forum: 20 Voices on Weil/U. Arizona and the American Board of Integrative Medicine
(11) Patrick Massey, MD, PhD
(12) Alexian Brothers Hospital Network
(13) my first post on this issue
(15) National Center for Homeopathy
(16) previous post
(17) comes from an entry
(18) board of directors for the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association
(21) this revealing article by John Weeks himself
(22) John Carpenter’s famous 1982 movie of the same name
Incoming Post Search Feeds:
ppsspp monster hunter freedom unite tablet
Modern marvels regenerative medicine
latest indian mision mars
futurists physical therapy
liberty generator tube
petru aurelian simionescu 2013
NASA comet ison update
techno fruhstuck correspondence heart beat
- How To Give Medicine To Your Dog - Video - May 27th, 2014
- Traditional Medicine 1-Nollywood Movie - Video - May 27th, 2014
- Ganda Boys - "Laughter is Medicine" (aka Ganda Foundation address, 7.3.14) - Video - May 27th, 2014
- INTELLIGENT HEALTH & PREVENTIVE MEDICINE INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM (IPMIS) - Video - May 27th, 2014
- Medicine Heist - GTA V Short Film - Video - May 27th, 2014
- (REVIEW) Married to Medicine | Season 2: Ep. 8 | Guess Who's Not Coming to Dinner (RECAP) - Video - May 27th, 2014
- Married to Medicine Season 2 Episode 8 Part 1 - Video - May 27th, 2014
- Watch Married to Medicine Season 2 Episode 8 - Guess Who's Not Coming to Dinner? HD Online||Quad's - Video - May 27th, 2014
- Married To Medicine Season 2 Review - Video - May 27th, 2014
- Old Crow Medicine Show - Dearly Departed Friend - Video - May 27th, 2014
- Laughter is the best medicine 6 - Video - May 27th, 2014
- The Mind Body Connection, Integratve Medicine, Endocrinolgy & Metabolism - Video - May 27th, 2014
- Medicine Man - James Aron Gray - (Minimal Techno Deep Tribal) - Video - May 27th, 2014
- sansa & petyr [au] - medicine - Video - May 27th, 2014
- Herbal Veterinary Medicine Part 1(Kannada) - - Video - May 27th, 2014
- Married to Medicine Season 2 Episode 8 Guess Who's Not Coming To Dinner? Se2 Ep8 S02x08 part 1 - Video - May 27th, 2014
- Nonprescription Nexium heartburn medicine launches - May 27th, 2014
- The next revolution in cancer treatment - May 27th, 2014
- Medicine Wheel celebrated at Lusscroft Farm - May 27th, 2014
- Sex-Specific Changes in Cerebral Blood Flow Begin at Puberty - May 27th, 2014
- Precision Diagnostics for Personalized Medicine - Video - May 25th, 2014
- Cheapest MD PG PHD in Medicine in China - Video - May 25th, 2014
- Cancer avatars for personalized medicine - Video - May 25th, 2014
- Dr. Victoria Sharma, Neurology & Sleep Medicine - Video - May 25th, 2014
- Naturopathic Medicine Invigorates your Natural Ability for your Body to Heal in Sarasota, FL - Video - May 25th, 2014
- Virtual Heart: How Engineering Is Helping Medicine | 23 May 2014 - Video - May 25th, 2014
- Eli and Clare - Medicine - Video - May 25th, 2014
- Traditional Chinese Medicine to be accepted in healthcare system in UK - Video - May 25th, 2014
- The Last of Us Playthrough Part 53 Joel's Medicine / Tracked Playthrough / Walkthrough - Video - May 25th, 2014
- Sacramento Zoo Mourns Loss of Father of Zoological Medicine - May 25th, 2014
- Stephen Montgomery - Stanford Medicine Big Data Interview - Video - May 24th, 2014
- Hank Greely - Stanford Medicine Big Data Interview - Video - May 24th, 2014
- Homes for Sale - 2740 Medicine Ridge Road, Plymouth, MN 55441 - Video - May 24th, 2014
- SEHU KHEPERA ANKH ANCIENT EGYPTIAN MEDICINE PART 1 - Video - May 24th, 2014
- Angel Chat #53 - Naturopathic Medicine VS Western Allopathic Medicine - Video - May 24th, 2014
- Professor Dr BM Hegde on Alternative Medicine Part 1 - Video - May 24th, 2014
- ReMed Natural Medicine Clinic - Video - May 24th, 2014
- "My Medicine" - The Pretty Reckless in Little Rock - Video - May 24th, 2014
- Duke Medicine Profiles: Hope E. Uronis, MD, MHS - Video - May 24th, 2014
- New HIV-AIDS Experimental "Energy Medicine" - Video - May 24th, 2014
- Medicine Bag's New Release..... Do U Juana - Video - May 24th, 2014
- HAPPY - MU - Minia University - Faculty Of Medicine - - Video - May 24th, 2014
- Fish 'medicine' to be given on June 8 | Studio N - Video - May 24th, 2014
- Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine for Menstrual Pain - Video - May 24th, 2014
- DayZ Standalone (Taste of My Own Medicine) - Video - May 24th, 2014
- Assessment of triage patients on the acute medicine unit at NInewells Hospital - Video - May 24th, 2014
- Married To Medicine | Season 1 Episode 2 | Mistress of Medicine - Video - May 24th, 2014
- Jo Stanley - May 24th, 2014
- Brand New 2014 GMC Terrain SLT for sale in Medicine Hat - Video - May 23rd, 2014
- Great Medicine, but Nobody's Getting Rich - Video - May 23rd, 2014
- UW|360 May 2014 - UW Medicine Montana TRUST - Video - May 23rd, 2014
- Married to Medicine Season 2 Episode 7 Review - Video - May 23rd, 2014
- Meet Omar, Translational Medicine Leader at Roche - Video - May 23rd, 2014
- Triple Lutz Report--Medicare Raises Costs Of Medicine And Fracking Coming To Mexico--Episode 349 - Video - May 23rd, 2014
- Married to Medicine Season 2 Episode 7 Part 3 - Video - May 23rd, 2014
- Neuroscience Daniel Medicine Kraft and Introduction to - Video - May 23rd, 2014
- Traditional Medicine part 1 latest Nigerian Nollywood Movie - Video - May 23rd, 2014
- Traditional Medicine 2 Nigerian Nollywood Movie 2014 - Video - May 23rd, 2014
- Minecraft Xbox Medicine Mania 1964 - Video - May 23rd, 2014
- My own medicine - Video - May 23rd, 2014
- FORENSIC MEDICINE - Mosa Plays: The Wolf Among Us (Episode 1 - Part 2) - Video - May 23rd, 2014
- Smartphones Changing the Future of Medicine! - Video - May 23rd, 2014
- The Pretty Reckless My Medicine (DJ Padzer Remix) - Video - May 23rd, 2014
- Joel Dudley : Assistant Professor of Genetics & Genomics, Mt. Sinai School of Medicine - Video - May 23rd, 2014
- Stanford Medicine X Live! Designing For the Physical Environment - Video - May 23rd, 2014
- How to Get Your Cat to Take It's Medicine by Dr. Sara Pizano - Video - May 23rd, 2014
- DJ Liquid & DJ Shortcut - Hip Hop Medicine - Vol. 4 - Thrust - Do You Understand - Video - May 22nd, 2014
- DJ Liquid & DJ Shortcut - Hip Hop Medicine - Vol.4 - Citizen Kane - Blackrain - Video - May 22nd, 2014
- Holistic Doctor Southfield MI - Cutler Integrative Medicine - Video - May 22nd, 2014
- stampylongnose minecraft - Medicine Mania  - Video - May 22nd, 2014
- 2014 University of Buffalo Commencement Address School of Dental Medicine Dr. Steven A. Guttenberg - Video - May 22nd, 2014
- american medicine - Video - May 22nd, 2014
- Alternative Medicine Works! So Here's A Way To Get Health Insurance To Cover It - Video - May 22nd, 2014
- "A Fashion Faux pas" (Married to Medicine Season 2 ep 7) - Video - May 22nd, 2014
- Kneeling Medicine Ball Side Slams - (GetFitivity.com) - Video - May 22nd, 2014
- Party Girl Predicaments: The Breast Medicine - Video - May 22nd, 2014
- Daughter-Medicine (skins) - Video - May 22nd, 2014
- Medicine Walk 003 - Video - May 22nd, 2014
- Medicine Ball Band ft. Charlie Hickox "Let The Four Winds Blow" [OFFICIAL VIDEO] - Video - May 22nd, 2014
- YCDTOTV ep 43 Medicine 1983 - Video - May 22nd, 2014