Australian doctors raise against quackery courses in medical universities

Good job Australia! According to The Telegraph:

The group, Friends of Science in Medicine, says universities have been trashing their reputations by teaching “quackery” and pseudoscience. Almost half of Australian universities offer courses in alternative medicine, including Chinese herbal remedies, chiropractics, homoeopathy, naturopathy, reflexology and aromatherapy.

The Australian group has written to university vice-chancellors, saying they should back evidence-based science rather than give “undeserved credibility to what in many cases would be better described as quackery”.

I believe this would be terrific. This is so much attention to these nonsense “disciplines” in the public, but people are fooled by the snake oil sellers, who offer youth, health and what not. There’s a huge cult of “grandma’s potions” in Russia. A lot of people rely on herbs and neglect going to the real doctor and then die, because the herbs don’t work. I believe this situation has to be changed and Australian scientific community sets a decent example for scientific communities all over the world.


Filed under Policy

4 responses to “Australian doctors raise against quackery courses in medical universities

  1. Acupuncture and some traditional Eastern medical treatments have served the Chinese over 2000 years well. There must be a middle ground to the 200 years of evidence based medicine.

    • This doesn’t prove acupuncture and other treatments are effective. It’s the evidence-based medicine that contributed to doubling the average life expectancy in the past couple centuries. That’s a real criteria for being effective.

  2. crom

    Placebo is part of ALL cure – allopathic medicine relies on it as much as any other modality. The pious (evangelical) adherence to science is naive and not constructive at all. 80% of the world population use traditional methods as their primary health method – medicine has failed to deliver on chronic illness and anything metaphysical. The scientific method is narrow minded and the reliance on supposed evidence proves very little in such a narrow mindset. I have never used Homeopathy, yet have seen nothing that disproves it. The efficacy of medicine you mention is without question – I am just bemused that you cannot find any efficacy in homeopathy and deny empirical evidence that has served traditionally as the basis of reductionist science (it’s supposed eureka moments and `insights’ into the possible mechanics that form the basis on enquiry) As a scientist myself I find your witch-hunting offensive and naive.

    Thanks for blogging you opinion; I do not seek to change your views, although you may have actually changed mine. The sloganeering you put forth does nothing but make science uninteresting (to me) and the case of evidence you provide in itself is nothing but here-say and a deliberate attempt to discredit something you may not actually understand and have obviously not dedicated any time to studying.

    Can you proivide references and supporting evidence about the influence of `russian grand mothers’ on health choices? and how they may be making prone to tryig homeopathy? What is the link you are trying to make and what scientific understanding does it illustrate?

    With a coordinated attack on a reputable profession by the medical fraternity being so overt, I myself am actually more interested in trying homeopathy for myself and avoiding the sneering medical world who do not seem to be able to comprehend that science needs to be open-minded lest the world once more becomes flat.
    You accounts of quackery paint doctors as defensive, fearful, ignorant and out of touch with social norms. – if anything I would hope that we can start to include medicine in broader discussions and make it much more socially relevant, responsive and effective. It is quite sad such piousness has infected reasoning. This really is a case of `Voltaire’s bastards’ at work.
    you have to sometime ask yourself why Australian’s are turning from `conventional medicine’ ? Are there any failings of mainstream medicine? Or as you infer, is it false advertising by quacks a chief (life threatening) stimulus that is turning people away from allopathic medical care?

    Best wishes,

  3. Ben

    I’d like to put a little middle ground in here: I think modern medicine and biological science has the potential to cure all the diseases and afflictions, including ageing, that ail us…but the current pharmaceautical industry is a giant corrupt money making machine, setup in a way that means they make more profit by keeping us indefinitely partially sick than they do by curing us fully of any ailment. The vast influence they have over politics and the media unfortunately means many true cures get passed up, covered up or ignored by those that should know better (your doctor for instance) for the sake of the latest money making pill still under patent. I dream of a day when this situation is remedied and true scientific progress into curing disease is made, including identifying some of the many traditional remedies that actually do work and those that dont, however at the moment it means that hidden amongst all the bullshit snake oil and nonsense home remedies, are real working cures based off simple herbal/nutritional/other sources, unfortunately sorting them from the rubbish can be a hell of a job.
    As an example: diabetes, obesity and heart disease (and I believe cancer too, though this is more speculative) are major killers that are almost entirely related to nutrition, and yet the information the mainstream gives on how to avoid/manage them is almost completely wrong, to the point of being the opposite of what you should be doing. A thorough read of up to date studies and what they really show (as opposed to what it is claimed they show (or a look through the articles and references cited on sites such as will show this, and yet the media keeps spewing out the out of date completely wrong information, and people keep getting sick and dieing, because there is much money to be made in the process.

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