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medical schools embracing alternatives?


Alternative Health Medical School

“Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!” Dr. Peter Venkman (Bill Murray) from 1984’s Ghostbusters

No one is arguing that Dr. Steven Novella is not a smart guy.  Heck; he’s a neurologist and researcher at Yale.  Just understand that he and his buddies (Gorski & Hall) over at SCIENCE-BASED MEDICINE have a disdain for alternative medicine that borders on pathological. 

California billionaire Henry Samueli (Forbes says he’s worth a cool four billion) is a sharp guy in his own right.  While not a medical doctor (he does have a Ph.D in electrical engineering from UCLA), he had enough vision to start a business making computer chips back in the early 90’s (Broadcom), which he sold two years ago for 37 billion dollars.  That would be 37,000 million dollars. Besides being a huge hockey fan (he also happens to own the NHL’s Anaheim Ducks, who won the Cup in his second year as owner back in 2007), he and his wife Susan are probably about as big a fans of alternative medicine as Novella is a hater. 

Writing in yesterday’s edition of the medical news daily, STAT (A $200 Million Gift Promotes Alternative Therapies at a California Medical School: And Critics Recoil), Usha Lee McFarling quoted Dr. Novella as saying, “This is ultimately a very bad thing.  It’s putting emphasis and the imprimatur of a university on things that have been discarded as medical fraud for 50 years.”  What was Novella so up in arms about? 

As you may have gathered from the title of McFarling’s article, the Samuelis donated 5% of their net worth (200 million bucks) to Cal State Irvine to create the Susan and Henry Samueli College of Health Sciences.  Its mission is predicated on teaching various alternatives to the mainstream medical profession.

“UCI defines integrative healthcare as a combination of conventional medicine and alternative medicine as well as a focus on lifestyle, wellness and ‘the whole person.  By paying more attention to patients’ full range of needs — rather than just treating their disease — the UCI physicians leading the effort say they hope to transform medicine.  They know their approach raises questions among many of their medical colleagues. But they say the fact that so many patients seek nontraditional care means something about conventional medicine isn’t working.”

Spot on assessment.  Something isn’t working (probably more like things, plural) — especially when treating people who have chronic illnesses.  While the argument could be made that America has the greatest healthcare system in the world for acute illnesses and trauma; when it comes to CHRONIC INFLAMMATORY DEGENERATIVE DISEASES and / or AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES, we are missing the mark.  Let me explain what I mean. 

Just YESTERDAY — using the latest peer-reviewed medical research (none of it from “alternative” journals) — I showed you yet again just how far apart the medical research community is from the portion of the medical community that actually treats patients.  In other words, even though there is so much really cool stuff coming out of the research side of the profession, the majority of the treating side of the profession is still stuck in the 1970’s, prescribing things like “THE BIG FIVE” and intentionally suppressing the immune system (HERE).  

However, when you actually look at the studies (I quote directly from several), then realize that the majority of America’s treating physicians don’t even believe that LEAKY GUT SYNDROME (increased intestinal permeability) exists, let alone different variations of “THE LEAKIES,” something is obviously rotten in Denmark!   Speaking of rotten……

If you want your stomach to churn, take a look at what’s happening to science as related to the biomedical field.   True to the concept of Orwellian double-speak, science loves to tout the practice of medicine as being evidence-based (“EVIDENCE-BASED MEDICINE“).   Thanks to the internet, however, people are increasingly realizing that much of the so-called evidence is a house of cards. Allow me to give you one simple example.  

Back in 1931 — JUST A FEW YEARS before I was born — — a German physician / Ph. D researcher by the name of OTTO WARBURG won the Nobel Prize for Medicine by figuring out that cancer’s food-of-choice is sugar (see link).  He lived to be a very old man by eschewing sugar and processed foods, largely consuming a diet based on WHOLE FOODS

Today, however, we have official statements from renowned institutions such as Johns Hopkins and Mayo (HERE) calling Warburg’s findings poppycock and essentially renouncing his work.  Cancer, schmancer.  Go ahead and eat that sugar!  Too bad they failed to read the research on KETOGENIC DIETS beforehand.

Dr. Novella was ticked off that UCI actually accepted the money (like they were going to turn it down), comparing it to a major university’s biology department taking money from (gulp) “CREATIONISTS“.  I’m not surprised, considering he lists the late Carl Sagan as one of his heroes (BTW, I would have paid money to see a formal debate between Sagan and JOHN LENNOX concerning Sagan’s book on the evolution of human consciousness; Dragons of Eden).  Fortunately, people are waking up to the fact that the practice of medicine is increasingly controlled by BIG PHARMA (see my EBM link above). They’re sick of it and looking for alternatives. 

And here’s the thing; because insurance does not pay for alternatives, it’s put-up-or-shut-up.  In other words, alternative practitioners must get great results because people are only willing to pay out-of-pocket for treatment that has a track record of excellence (HERE).

And while I would never chide anyone for seeking out standard medical care (sooner or later we all do it), the magic usually happens when you start stepping out of the box.  What do I mean?  HERE is a post where I show you what it may take to successfully address your chronic issues — not simply mask them with drugs for the rest of your life — drugs that we know are DANGEROUS and loaded to the gills with (MASSIVELY UNREPORTED) side effects. 

For many of you, it boils down to a choice — your choice.  You can either become “alternative” or you can become a statistic.  Just remember that when you live your life as a statistic, the pharmaceutical industry views you as a walking, breathing, dollar sign.


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