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attention md’s: the thought police are at the door


Writing for MedPage Today, Dr. David Rettew, a pediatric psychiatrist and Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the University of Vermont, wrote a recent article titled Rogue Doctors and Boundaries: How Far Outside the Mainstream Should Healthcare Professionals be Permitted to Go?  In it he questioned physician’s “independence when it comes to how they are allowed to practice and what they are allowed to think.”  

Why should we care?  On some level Rettew’s opinion matters because he’s a researcher, author and blogger (for Psychology Today) of some renowned.  In his article, he started by flogging quacks like me.

“Worry about scientifically unsupported practices and recommendations from alternate medical providers, such as chiropractors and naturopaths, has led some to question the need for an even stronger approach.”

The problem is that even though it may have started with chiros, naturopaths, and other known “QUACKS” like myself, there is a rapidly growing number of MD’s who are increasingly thinking outside the box that labeled “mainstream medicine”. Unfortunately for this group, some within the mainstream (in many cases it’s those who author GUIDELINES, which I believe Rettew does) have taken it upon themselves to try and determine which doctors are being naughty and stepping outside of these imaginary medical boundaries, as well as what might constitute a good punishment. 

Rettew got the ball rolling by mentioning an article by Dr. Daniel Neides, the Medical Director and Chief Operating Officer of Cleveland Clinic’s Wellness Institute, that addressed (and actually warned of) the relationship between AUTISM and ALUMINUM VACCINE ADJUVANTS (HERE). 

After dropping DAVID GORSKI’S name (he’s a CANCER DOCTOR who along with his buddy Steve Novella, are rabidly outspoken opponents of anything and everything not in the mainstream) and before discussing how he thinks this “problem” should be dealt with, Rettew showed us a few of the quackish ideas some of his medical brethren have fallen for —- ideas that have seemingly worked him into a full-blown lather……

  • An internist who refuses to prescribe antidepressants because he doesn’t “believe” in them
  • A family medicine physician who has her patients do a slower vaccine schedule under the belief that the recommended schedule may increase the risk of autism
  • A psychiatrist who recommends hyperbaric oxygen therapy for autism and Alzheimer’s disease

Wouldn’t it make sense to start by asking why some medical doctors wouldn’t “believe in” anti-depression medications?  Recent studies spell it out rather clearly (HERE & HERE).  As for autism and vaccines; even the most ardent “antivaxxers” don’t believe that autism is solely the result of vaccinations (HERE).  However, when you see doctors and researchers from the mainstream starting to lose their fear of stepping into the fray (see some of my previous links), it certainly starts raising some interesting questions. 

And as for HYPERBARIC O2 being used to treat people with any number of chronic ailments (ALZHEIMER’S included); it’s become so common in ‘cutting edge’ (i.e. out-of-the-box) neurology clinics that it’s frankly old news.  Rettew wound up his little diatribe with these words….

“In the end, we are left with the conclusion that while mainstream medical organizations are getting better and better at reaching the public to deliver good evidence-based health information, they are much more skittish about refuting pseudoscience and downright timid when it comes to calling out particular individuals, some of whom may be members of their own organization.

Like it or not, the burden may continue to fall on individual watchdog organizations and public complaints to expose health-related opinions and recommendations that may sound technical and valid but are devoid of any actual scientific support.”

Not only are these ideas no longer true, they never really were to begin with (HERE).  The so called ‘evidence” in EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICE is about as close to sickening as you can get without actually needing a barf bag handy.  I take that back; click the previous link only if you are near a toilet or trashcan.  

Furthermore, isn’t it interesting how those who extol the virtues of EBM the loudest, are usually the biggest advocates of being allowed to pick and choose which “evidence” they want to follow and which they don’t (WHO DECIDES?).  And as for those “watchdog organizations” he mentioned; surely by now everyone realizes just how corrupt they are as well (HERE and HERE)? 

Bottom line, I was talking with an MS PATIENT on Friday who looks fantastic and feels better than she has in ages.  Why?  She went to an MD (a neurologist) doing FUNCTIONAL MEDICINE, which has, along with her following many of the same principles I espouse on my site (HERE), helped put her into remission.  That’s right people — the process by which her own immune system attacks her own nerve’s myelin sheaths has slowed to an imperceptible crawl!  Rock on CC!

Realize that as the tide continues to shift away from the mainstream, you will see more and more attacks on alternatives.  The problem for Rettew and his ilk is that this approach is backfiring.  Case in point, be sure and look at some of the comments at the bottom of Rettew’s article — mostly from physicians doing the very work that he is decrying (Functional Medicine).  Honestly, my best guess is that his article is really a thinly-disguised assault against one of his colleagues. 

DR. HELENE LANGEVIN, an endocrinologist and professor of neurology at the same institution (she’s also an expert in acupuncture — something Gorski rips on a regular basis), also happens to be not only one of the world’s premiere experts in the field of FASCIA RESEARCH, but was recently named director of the government’s National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, formerly known as the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine — a fact that Rettew’s buddy Gorski attacked her for a month ago on his blog (Helene Langevin is Named NCCIH Director. Let the Quackery Flow Again!). 

Although Rettew does not mention her by name, I can’t imagine that he was not thinking about her (and probably grinding his teeth) when he penned this article.

For those of you struggling with CHRONIC DEGENERATIVE INFLAMMATORY DISEASES or AUTOIMMUNITY, just realize that at best, the mainstream approach as touted by Rettew may help you manage your symptoms.  While addressing symptoms is often a necessary part of some people’s approach to healthcare, most of you are going to have to step outside the box in order to start drying ‘Symptom River’ at its source. 

In other words, treating symptoms while failing to address the underlying cause(s) of said symptoms is exactly what the powers behind mainstream medicine (Big Pharma) want (HERE).  For many of you, however, there are ways to break free.

HERE is an example from someone who has successfully done it (along with NUMEROUS OTHER EXAMPLES).  HERE is a list of posts that provide some simple, generic ideas for addressing systemic inflammation, the root of most health issues and CHRONIC PAIN SYNDROMES.  Honestly, the only thing a paper like Rettew’s ever does is circle the wagons around the shrinking group that’s already in his camp, while strengthening the position of those who disagree.  

For that, Dr. R, I salute you!  If anyone reading this thinks it’s worthy of making the rounds on FACEBOOK so that others can see it, be sure to like, share, or follow as it’s a great way to reach the people you love and care about most.


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