How Scientific Is Modern Medicine Really?

Doctors today commonly assert that they practice “scientific medicine,” and patients think that the medical treatments they receive are “scientifically proven.” However, this ideal is a dream, not reality, and a clever and profitable marketing ruse, not fact.

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John Ioannidis is one of the world’s most important experts on the credibility of medical research. He and his team of researchers have repeatedly shown that many of the conclusions biomedical researchers arrive at in their published studies are exaggerated or flat-out wrong.

However, these studies are what doctors use to prescribe drugs or recommend surgery. Ioannidis asserts that as much as 90 percent of the published medical information relied on by doctors is flawed or incorrect.

The Atlantic reports:
“His work has been widely accepted by the medical community … Yet for all his influence, he worries that the field of medical research is so pervasively flawed, and so riddled with conflicts of interest, that it might be chronically resistant to change — or even to publicly admitting that there’s a problem.”

Further, it is commonly believed that modern medical treatments, including drugs, are “scientifically proven.” In reality, this is a “profitable marketing ruse,” according to a Huffington Post article by Dana Ullman. He reports:

“The British Medical Journal‘s “Clinical Evidence” analyzed common medical treatments to evaluate which are supported by sufficient reliable evidence (BMJ, 2007). They reviewed approximately 2,500 treatments and found:

•13 percent were found to be beneficial
•23 percent were likely to be beneficial
•Eight percent were as likely to be harmful as beneficial
•Six percent were unlikely to be beneficial
•Four percent were likely to be harmful or ineffective.
•46 percent were unknown whether they were efficacious or harmful”

Resources:
The Atlantic November 2010

The Huffington Post April 20, 2010

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