"Integrative Medicine" has no place in Australian universities

"Integrative Medicine" has no place in Australian universities

​The plague of "integrative medicine" is spreading down under, infecting respectable Australian universities with lectures and courses presenting an uncritical view of so-called "complementary medicine." 

Fortunately, Friends of Science in Medicine (FSM), an Australian organization, is calling them out on it. Like SFSBM, one of FSM's goals is to keep pseudoscience out of mainstream university education. FSM has a regular column, The Bitter Pill,  in Australasian Science magazine. (SFSBM's own Harriet Hall has written for The Bitter Pill.)  Loretta Marron, FSM's CEO, recently devoted a column to the disturbing infiltration of pseudoscience into medicine and pharmacy education. ("'Integrative Medicine' Has No Place in Universities"

Unlike the US, chiropractic, naturopathy and traditional Chinese Medicine are taught in mainstream Australian academic institutions, not small, independent schools entirely separate from any respectable university. According to Marron, these institutions, strapped for funds, are seduced by money from the $4 billion per year AltMed industry. That's where the problem started.

Now, also funded by the Alt Med industry, impressionable medical and pharmacy students are being  subjected to uncritical presentations of complementary and alternative medicine at respectable Australian universities, with the aid of a small number of physicians and pharmacists. 

All the tricks of the quackademic medicine trade employed in the US are on display there as well: 

  • rebranding of nutrition, relaxation techniques and exercise as "integrative;
  • falsely describing integrative medicine as a combination of conventional and "evidence-based" complementary treatments; 
  • labeling integrative medicine as "holistic;" 
  • dumbing down of evidentiary standards through the use of "evidence-informed medicine."
Marron's anlaysis of integrative medicine is spot on:  "In reality, integrative medicine is just a re-badging of AltMed, an umbrella term that masks uncritical information about ​complementary medicine and supports a range of unproven or disproven interventions." 

David Gorski described the American version in much the same way.   

She ended the column with this counterpunch: Teaching pseudoscience in universities "is nothing less than academic prostitution -- and should be recognised for what it is." Ouch! The truth hurts. 


Points of Interest 08/30/2015
The Peoples Anecdotes