All posts by Harriet Hall

Harriet Hall, MD also known as The SkepDoc, is a retired family physician who writes about pseudoscience and questionable medical practices. She received her BA and MD from the University of Washington, did her internship in the Air Force (the second female ever to do so),  and was the first female graduate of the Air Force family practice residency at Eglin Air Force Base. During a long career as an Air Force physician, she held various positions from flight surgeon to DBMS (Director of Base Medical Services) and did everything from delivering babies to taking the controls of a B-52. She retired with the rank of Colonel.  In 2008 she published her memoirs, Women Aren't Supposed to Fly.

Professor Gives Grades to Alternative Medicine

Edzard Ernst assigns a grade to 150 alternative medicine modalities, evaluating plausibility, efficacy, safety, cost, and risk/benefit balance. A very useful reference.

/ September 17, 2019

Herbalife or Herbadeath?

A case of fatal liver failure in India was attributed to Herbalife products, adding to many other reports from around the world. Analysis showed Herbalife products contain heavy metals and other contaminants. The products have not been scientifically tested, and in the absence of evidence of benefit to human health, they can't be recommended.

/ September 10, 2019

Generic Drugs and Global Deception

Generic drugs are supposed to be equivalent to brand-name drugs, but all too often they are defective. Katherine Eban's book shows that corrupt overseas manufacturers have committed intentional global fraud. The system is broken and the FDA lacks the power to correct abuses.

/ September 3, 2019

Do Acupuncture Points Exist? Can Acupuncturists Find Them?

Acupuncturists do a systematic review and reveal they can't reliably locate acupoints. No wonder: they don't exist.

/ August 27, 2019

Ebola: Science Is Making Progress

Good news! Research on Ebola has identified a 100% effective vaccine and medications that produce a 90% survival rate.

/ August 20, 2019

Vitamin D and Diabetes: Another Case Where Supplementation Sounded Like a Good Idea But Wasn’t

A new study shows vitamin D supplements don't prevent diabetes. But there are still unanswered questions.

/ August 13, 2019

What Does It Feel Like to Die?

We're all going to die; we wonder what it will feel like. This book describes what typically happens during the period between diagnosis of a fatal illness and death.

/ August 6, 2019

American Family Physician Endorses Acupuncture

A CME article in American Family Physician misrepresents the evidence, claiming acupuncture has been proven safe and effective. An accompanying editorial gives despicable advice on how to manipulate patients to accept this theatrical placebo.

/ July 30, 2019

Vyleesi: New Drug for Hypoactive Sexual Desire in Women

New drug to treat hypoactive sexual desire in women, Vyleesi, is not very effective and has several drawbacks. It is NOT Viagra for women.

/ July 23, 2019

Bee Stings for Arthritis

Bee sting therapy may be somewhat effective for arthritis, but it can't be recommended.

/ July 16, 2019