All posts by Harriet Hall

Harriet Hall, MD also known as The SkepDoc, is a retired family physician who writes about pseudoscience and questionable medical practices. She received her BA and MD from the University of Washington, did her internship in the Air Force (the second female ever to do so),  and was the first female graduate of the Air Force family practice residency at Eglin Air Force Base. During a long career as an Air Force physician, she held various positions from flight surgeon to DBMS (Director of Base Medical Services) and did everything from delivering babies to taking the controls of a B-52. She retired with the rank of Colonel.  In 2008 she published her memoirs, Women Aren't Supposed to Fly.

A Desperate Choice

A therapy for brain tumors in young children involves deliberately infecting them with a virus. Scary, and is it worth it?

/ July 26, 2022

Chiropractic Neck Manipulations in the News

Caitlin Jensen's chiropractor called 911 when she developed alarming symptoms after neck manipulation. She had a heart attack, was pulseless for 10 minutes, and suffered traumatic brain injury. Surgeons found dissections of 4 arteries in the neck. A month later, she remains paralyzed and is still in the ICU.

/ July 19, 2022

100% Cure Rate Is Hard to Believe

An experimental cancer drug made 100% of rectal cancers disappear in a small trial, allowing subjects to avoid the standard treatment of chemotherapy and surgery . “Some scientists say these kinds of results have never been seen in the history of cancer research.” 100% is hard to believe; the 95% confidence interval was 74 to 100. Whatever the true percentage, if this...

/ July 12, 2022

Statistical Shenanigans?

The manufacturers of Covid-19 vaccines say they are 95% effective. Peter Doshi re-examined the evidence and estimates they are only 19-29% effective. This pre-print of an as-yet unpublished re-analysis raises many questions but doesn't support the claims being made on antivaccine sites.

/ July 5, 2022

The Role of Liquid Biopsies in Oncology

Liquid biopsies can be used to reduce the amount of chemotherapy used for patients with stage II colon cancer.

/ June 28, 2022

Diet Recommendations Based on DNA

Diet recommendations based on DNA are not based on good science.

/ June 21, 2022

A review of Are Electromagnetic Fields Making Me Ill? How Electricity and Magnetism Affect Our Health, by Bradley J. Roth

A new book explores some of the (un)scientific controversies about electromagnetic radiation and health.

/ June 14, 2022

Swedish Blueberries Are Bluer, But Are They Better?

Swedish blueberries are bluer, are they better?

/ June 7, 2022

Do Covid-19 Vaccines Affect Fertility?

Fears of future infertility are keeping some parents from vaccinating their children for COVID-19. These fears are not supported by any evidence.

/ May 31, 2022

Big Success for Anti-obesity Drug

Will an expensive, new, injectable, untested medication help people lose weight? Maybe! But right now, we don't know if it's safety and efficacy profiles make it worth the price.

/ May 24, 2022