What Happened?

(tap tap)
Is this thing on?

OK. I think it’s working.

Wow. I mean, wow. Someone seems to have accidentally dropped the keys to denialism blog on my desk, so now I’m in ur blogz, messing with ur words and stuff.

That’s really the only logical explanation. I mean, how else could I, a lowly Doctor of Medicine in a dreary Midwestern town, end up writing on Sb?

I guess I owe you an explanation…

You see, I was meddling where I didn’t belong minding my own business, blogging in my spare time, when suddenly, people started reading what I wrote (and not immediately ctrl-alt-delete’ing). Lucky for me, one of those readers was MarkH, one of the hosts of this very blog. Being of unsound mind and poor judgment, or perhaps exhausted from his surgery rotation, he graciously invited me to post here at denialism blog.

That being said, I feel an explanation is warranted. Denialists are running around out there talking about the CIA/Zionist Conspiracy to destroy the WTC Towers, explaining how Hollywood and NASA faked the moon landings, telling us that Jesus rode a dinosaur to work—but they are also trying to keep people away from vaccines by spreading lies, trying to sabotage treatment of HIV by denying its proven cause, and, God help me, trying to break the Big Pharma/AMA/FDA conspiracy to deny you access to peach pit extract or whatever.

My patients spend a lot of time on the internet, watching late-night television, and talking to their friends about the next miracle cure for impotence, baldness, or obesity. Sometimes they even talk to me. This has led me to read up on various forms of woo, gotten me into the blogosphere, and kept me reading folks like Orac and the denialism blog. After writing for a few months, I started contributing to, and eventually hosting, the Skeptics’ Circle, and more recently, Tangled Bank. I’ve developed some tools here and there to help distinguish fact from, well, bull.

Much of my writing (available at WhiteCoat Underground) has been about quackery and medical crankism. But I also try to talk about the mystery of medicine (“woooooo”). No, not that kind of mystery, but that alchemy that occurs when two people—a doctor and a patient—sit down together, and with the help of basic human interaction and evidence-based medicine, figure out how to maintain and improve a life. This is the art of medicine, and it’s what makes me happy to go to work seven days a week, 10-14 hours a day.

So I get a little cranky about the Joe Mercolas and Gary Nulls of this world, who promise everything and deliver nothing (except, of course, a bill).

Sometimes I write with a compassionate tone, sometimes I’m quite snarky. Often, I piss people off. I can live with that. If a post annoys people, it is birthing a discussion, and that is one of my goals.

And by discussion, I mean just that. I don’t mind occasional trolls, cranks, and other lurkers. They help draw out the logical fallacies and outright lies that allow cranks, quacks, and denialists to flourish. By shining a bright light on these problems, some folks, just maybe, will learn how to distinguish the good from the bad from the ugly.

So please have patience with me while I learn how to bend ScienceBlogs to my will. I’ll probably post some of my “best of’s” from my old home, and keep cranking out the anti-crankery.

To your health!


  1. Adrienne

    Yay, welcome! I love reading WCU, looking forward to your contributions here, PalMD.

  2. Welcome, PalMD!

  3. Oh my God PalMD it’s like a virus spreading through the blogosphere. You’ll take over all the blogs and then turn them quack, I can feel it.

    *checks layscience.net anti-hacking devices*

  4. mayhempix


    YouTube is becoming the WooTube and we need all the help we can get against ignorance charlatans and hucksters.

  5. Ha! I just started reading your blog a month or so ago. I read denialism and WCU at work, and have been praying for a consolidation. Good to know that SomeBody has been listening.

  6. PalMD on Sb? Who could’ve seen it coming? Congrats on your new haunt! Are you going to continue writing WhiteCoat Underground, or are you going to post on denialism blog full-time?

  7. Thanks, all.

    I doubt I’ll be able to blog in two places at once, and honestly, there is an exponential difference in traffic here as compared to WCU (I think you can guess which gets more). Some people are able to post to more than one blog, and not repeat themselves too much. I don’t think I’m up to that task (how does he do that??)

    I intend to migrate certain posts, either in their original form or adulterated to serve other needs—a good tactic for lazy people.

  8. Oh, welcome! You do realise that by writing for this blog, you’ve outed yourself as a Hoofnagle.

  9. Glad you’ll be getting more readership as one of the Sciblings. Go, Pal!

  10. Hey, good to see you over here, PalMD. Was never into WCU, but I know you from RationalWiki, and I congratulate you on your elevation.

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