Quackademic medicine and the delusion of being “science-based”

Here at SBM, we frequently write about what I like to refer to as “quackademic medicine.” A lot of people think that I coined the term, and I really wish that I had. However, in reality Dr. Robert Donnell coined it around a decade ago to describe the infiltration of quackery and pseudoscience into academic medical centers in research, education, and clinical practice. I merely took the term and ran with it.

Recall that quackademic medicine is a phenomenon that has infiltrated medical academia like kudzu over the last two decades. Basically, once ostensibly science-based medical schools and academic medical centers embrace quackery. This embrace was once called “complementary and alternative medicine” (CAM) but among quackademics the preferred term is now “integrative medicine.” Of course, when looked at objectively, integrative medicine is far more a brand than a specialty. Specifically, it’s a combination of rebranding some science-based modalities, such as


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