"What Used to be Fraud is Now Alternative Medicine": Doc-to-Doc with Steve Novella

Get more medical news analysis at http://www.medpagetoday.com or http://www.methodsman.com

Dr. Steven Novella is a faculty member of the Yale School of Medicine, a practicing neurlogist, and the host of the wildly popular podcast “The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe”, where he and his group of “skeptical rogues” discuss scientific topics with an eye on calling out woo, flim-flam, and hokum.

As a physician, Dr. Novella has spoken out against homeopathy, accupuncture, and other alternative medicine modalities, based on a lack of robust evidenciary support and prior plausability.

I had the chance to speak with Dr. Novella in the studios at Yale.  We discussed a wide variety of topics ranging from the public’s view of science and scientists, to interacting with patients who hold non-scientific beliefs.

You might be interested in my latest video: “Thanksgiving in the Coronavirus Era – Just Don’t Do It”



  1. philip mullins on April 20, 2021 at 1:55 am

    Modern medicine is not always pure science , it also can be an art , with some medical conditions , you can consult 10 different medical doctors and get 10 different medical treatments .
    Compare this with a dentist , you go to a dentist with a tooth ache and you go away cured so dentistry is more pure science that many aspects of medical practice where patients don’t always get a cure from a medical consultation

  2. Triforce Kingdom on April 20, 2021 at 1:55 am

    you know Doc, there is such a thing as too much skepticism!!!

  3. Pierre L on April 20, 2021 at 1:55 am

    The biggest fraud is your Allopathic medicine. You should know that doctors in the US kill, by prescribing the wrong medicine to their patients, hundreds of thousands of people every year. I do not know any cases of dying using Naturopathic medicine. There is a simple rule what is and what is not healthy. What your body does not make itself and it is foreign to it, that is a poison to it. I have never seen one sick person that had been cured by some chemical pill made by pharma, not one! But I have seen many people being cured by changing eating habits and using natural herbs. My own friend who was a physician told me once. You are lucky because your Naturopathic Medicine is the future of health and my medicine is nothing but bullshitting people. They think if you give them 10 different pills they will be healthy but they should know that it is killing them. I know that he said, but if I do not give it to them they will sue me for malpractice. Doctors are really dumb, they study for 6 years and will never help anyone. Doctors can only help those in car accidents or similar reasons but they know nothing of long-term health maintenance. Like this doctor is bashing MMS and he would like to see all those who use it in jail. I used MMS and many of my friends and one of my friends had bladder cancer and she was ready to go for a surgery in few months. She took MMS and what a surprise, she went for a check-up before her surgery and she was cancer-free. And she maintains it after 3 check-ups. Another friend of mine had the terrible flu and it lasted about 3 months and he could not get rid of it. His doctor gave him some pills and told him that he will not be able to drink alcohol. He thought that it would be only during that time of taking them, but it was forever. Every time he went for a simple beer with us he was sick for an entire week. One day he came down with another bad flu so I told him to take MMS and he was cured soon after and guess what, he was cured of that terrible symptom of not being able to drink any alcoholic beverages like simple beer. Now he can have ten if he wants and has no problem the next day. Stop relying on pharma chemical drugs that are only made to keep you as a patient for your entire life, not to cure anything. We know this and those who are stupidly naive should go and start learning what is really healthy for them. MMS is a wonderful fighting Covid-19 as well, and you better believe it. If MMS is so dangerous as those idiots say, you could never survive swimming in the public pool which is full of this MMS.

  4. Nohora Sims on April 20, 2021 at 1:58 am

    Physicians dont care about other treatment they only care about what they learned drugs and surgery.

  5. Steve Trembley on April 20, 2021 at 2:02 am

    I never trust “Health Professionals” who cannot maintain a normal BMI.

  6. Joseph Velasco on April 20, 2021 at 2:02 am

    Rather idiotic and simple minded approach, while big pharma focuses on instant treatment in order for quick cash, US doctors have been pushed to do research on artificial drugs in order to treat things in the short run(the easy route) while the true route should be towards cell therapy in order to give a more natural result which doesn’t affect health in the long run rather create a stronger , labeling alternative medicine as only acupuncture or naturalists is untrue and false as alternative medicine in today’s world is greatly expanding looking towards individual signaling cascades in order to treat things from the source, sadly the US is not interested and will never be as long as big pharma reigns supreme we should learn from our eastern neighbors in Asia and Europe instead

  7. Julian Palmer on April 20, 2021 at 2:02 am

    "Scientific Plausibility of the Hypothesis"?

    Steven Novella is just defending the present paradigm of dogma, whilst maintaining and limiting exploration in science. A lot of "alternative medicine" is not studied properly and not enough money is put into creating "evidence". Novella ultimately appears simply a capitalist trying to castrate the competition! Does he truly care about finding out what really works to heal people? Not a chance and none of writings reflect that.

    Plausibility is just building upon a foundation of scientific dogma, and yet when paradigm shifts happen, those foundations CHANGE! low and behold these beliefs and any idea of "plausibility" (a laughable idea) are NOT set in stone!

    Patients who "Hold non-scientific beliefs"? are you for real? Not everyone worships at the temple of scientism.

  8. Will Murray on April 20, 2021 at 2:03 am

    Thank you for producing this video. It should be mandatory for most new patients to view before the doc accepts them as new patients.

  9. Cyber Reeper on April 20, 2021 at 2:05 am

    Is that why Western Medicine has physicians that will cure certain ailments by drugs with often awful side effects? No cures with others, no knowledge or hides stuff due to pharma. Load of garbage when it comes to that. Any thing surgical or body damages or inflammations aren’t always understood well. Just people trusting bs studies that are likely super old, not all alternative sciences have merrit, many work as well. Just be warry of poisonous treatments in all medicine treatment available in options.

  10. asad javaid on April 20, 2021 at 2:07 am

    Then why FDA approved it? it should be stopped immediately

  11. Alex Sage on April 20, 2021 at 2:12 am

    My dear teacher =))

  12. Gordon Wallis on April 20, 2021 at 2:12 am

    What do you guys think of this? https://youtu.be/8jqgoehVdVU

  13. K B on April 20, 2021 at 2:13 am

    If something looks like a duck , sounds like a duck , and walks like a duck , we MUST do a DNA test on it before killing it and eating it.

    God forbid we don’t rely on scientific proof and it turns out to be human. How did people 3,000 years ago live without DNA tests ?

  14. Emily Boronkay on April 20, 2021 at 2:13 am

    All he is doing is protecting the profits of the allopathic medical industrial concerns.

  15. Jon Smail on April 20, 2021 at 2:14 am

    The scientific method is just that a method and nothing more. Do not let it be the final judge. Otherwise, we will never advance in science. Sometimes, a hunch must be pursued and there is no room for a hunch, in the scientific method. It is simply a method after all. Useful yes, yet, a method none the less.

  16. Jon Smail on April 20, 2021 at 2:15 am

    Dr. Novella just admitted that a Cochrane review will highlight mediocre results. Mediocre or not, they are results. Dr. Novella will disregard this results because they are mediocre. Yet, the great advancements in science, do not come from the group mind set. They come from the individual’s who sift through the mediocre results, in order, to find the ground breaking evidence. Sifting through the failures and endlessly testing is what science is about. Dr. Novella is debunked. This is my opinion.

  17. Williams Sarah on April 20, 2021 at 2:15 am

    Fibromyalgia is a serious and recurring disease which can’t be cured through drugs or injections by the Nigeria doctors but the best way to deal with fibromyalgia is by taking natural herbs medicine for it and is only few Nigeria doctors that know about this herbal medicine from Dr Moses .. I have read about Dr Moses the great herbalist doctor from Nigeria who can cure disease with his powerful herbal medicine. for the people suffering from the following diseases, Herpes, Cancer,weLupus, Arthritis, Also, HSV1 and HSV2, Hepatitis, Diabetes, Hps,Infections ETC should contact him for his herbal medicine because i am a living testimony and i was cured of fibromyalgia . , i sent him what he requested and he sent me his medicine which i took for 2 weeks and today when i went for test i was tested fibromyalgia negative. you can reach him through his email : ( doctormoses176@gmail.com) or whatsapp number : +2349015985812 will help you out faster and reliable


  18. Ambulocetus on April 20, 2021 at 2:18 am

    I’m a simple man. I see Dr Steve, i click.

  19. Graham Aker on April 20, 2021 at 2:18 am

    Traditional chinese in a nutshell. Seahorses don’t cure erectile dysfunction.

  20. K Copley on April 20, 2021 at 2:20 am

    Dr Novella..I believe in Science based medicine as well as Alternative Medicine. I understand your point there are some frauds out there to be aware of but not all. Alt Medicine treats the whole body not by putting a bandaid on it. There are many sides to it and patients have a choice to do what works for them. To say Alternative Medicine is a complete fraud is an unfair statement. I will put money down to say that some of your science medicine colleagues use alternative medicine for themselves as well as their families.

  21. Nohora Sims on April 20, 2021 at 2:22 am

    Homeopathy was around way before big pharma check history used all over the world

  22. unbroken1010 on April 20, 2021 at 2:24 am

    I wonder where he stands on the John Hopkins statistics with Corona as of now. If everyone’s been labeled that death and how do we move forward based on statistics that have been compromised since the beginning

  23. Grey Ford on April 20, 2021 at 2:25 am

    Science is a discussion and a search, institutions are a closed agenda driven ideology. The idea to take ourselves away from our natural environment shows the lunacy and will be proven every generation how bad this fundamentally flawed skepticism of natural medicine is to man.

  24. Mary Katherine Hawk on April 20, 2021 at 2:25 am

    There’s a lot to respond to in this video. Dr. Steve Novella seems to be a very good and knowledgeable Dr. I appreciate the knowledge and perspective shared. There’s an immense ocean of confusion about alternative therapy and medicine. I’m a licensed massage therapist and my treatment, by nature, hears the perspective from the allopathic medical community as well as the alternative medical community. I think the conversation does show how allopathic medicine does need to learn more and study more about the alternative treatments available because patients will seek out what they feel is better for them. One thing I will say is frustrating is when allopathic physicians discuss alternative medicine but show absolutely no knowledge of any treatments. This shuts down the conversation a fellow health practitioner could have in working with the physician to help the patient or client and it continues this cycle of a patient having to turn to the internet for self-diagnosing because there is no unified party of medicine to rely on. Also, the term "homeopathy" is not exchangeable with "alternative medicine". Homeopathy is a very specific treatment, yet the term continuously is used as an umbrella term. Alternative Medicine is BETTER understood as "complimentary" and viewing it as such would open more doors between allopathic physicians, such as Dr. Novella, and alternative health practitioners. Alternative practitioners absolutely do study science and the study of evidence and science-based medicine is increasing quickly. Granted there are many sources that pay for false "studies" or publish fake studies but that’s a battle ALL health practitioners are facing. The public is deciding what approach to health is best for them, no matter the science, so it would be better to provide answers with knowledge of the entire scope of medicine rather than let ignorance take over the conversation altogether. Allopathic medicine is science-based, but not always practical and not always with the use of common sense. Alternative medicine is easy to slip into pseudo-science. Both have very real issues to work out but if either dismisses the other, then only the patient loses…every time.

  25. Erik on April 20, 2021 at 2:25 am

    I recall Dawkins being a professor for public understanding of science!

  26. Kenneth Moore on April 20, 2021 at 2:26 am

    Great talk. Should be required viewing for all students.

    “For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.”

    “No one ever went broke underestimating the taste [or intelligence] of the American public.”

    HL Mencken

  27. Calvin Ducharme on April 20, 2021 at 2:28 am

    Went to like the video… 245 likes? Then, I saw the view count–it broke my heart. The content of this video should be seen by an audience many orders of magnitude than the one it has reached so far.

  28. lfidarraga on April 20, 2021 at 2:30 am

    My best evidence based medical advice is that the third leading cause of death in the US is due to medical errors.

  29. Nohora Sims on April 20, 2021 at 2:31 am

    Oh yeah good it doesnt work. Listen to this guy.

  30. Austin on April 20, 2021 at 2:33 am

    God bless you, Steve. You’re doing good work.

  31. Gordon Wallis on April 20, 2021 at 2:35 am

    Wonder what the doctor thinks about my work?? https://youtu.be/YVSeOYZWMns

  32. Mike B on April 20, 2021 at 2:35 am

    Why are they so afraid of competition?

  33. James Bolton on April 20, 2021 at 2:39 am

    Dr. Steven Novella is a genius!!!

  34. Manny Glover on April 20, 2021 at 2:39 am

    “Mainstream Medicine… Fake Views!” Jk jk, very much not a skeptic of science conducted with healthy skepticism/the scientific method. Good video!

  35. Jason Bush on April 20, 2021 at 2:41 am

    You can always count on the truth from this guy!

  36. unbroken1010 on April 20, 2021 at 2:44 am

    I’d be really interested in seeing him and Joe dispenza , gabor mate have a debate especially considering where Joe is on in testimonial. body’s have the ability do more than we think when you’re given the time.

  37. Nohora Sims on April 20, 2021 at 2:44 am

    He knows nothing about Homeopathy

  38. unbroken1010 on April 20, 2021 at 2:45 am

    So why did a scientist go to Alaska and dig up to get a sample of h a n a. We had pretty much eradicated Spanish influenza but science had the need to go dig up and produce a sample what is the reasoning behind that? They already admitted that they had have problems with containment and we already had a mini pandemic with that years ago. I’m all for some science I’m all for some alternatives but we seriously have some monsters to deal with in this industry

  39. Nelson Tragura Jr. on April 20, 2021 at 2:45 am

    1.65 subscribers kekW.

  40. unbroken1010 on April 20, 2021 at 2:46 am

    What used to be fraud is now big Pharmaceutical. So then why are we cramming down the vaccination that has very limited clinical trials

  41. Susan XYZ on April 20, 2021 at 2:46 am

    No one size fits all for medicine, medicine use to be an Art now it’s a religion/science.
    Since using lugols iodine and selenium my health has turned around immensely. This guy is dangerous because he is bought and sold by the Rockefeller Foundation. You can do a blood test for Lyme. Gut issues cause neurological issues but they treat the x two separately. It’s all separate to add more cost.

  42. La T-Roc on April 20, 2021 at 2:47 am

    terrible tie Dt Steve

  43. Dirk Platinum on April 20, 2021 at 2:49 am

    Scientist aren’t respected anymore because they’ve spent the last 40 years taking political money over real science . So much of “science “ has been caught in lies for the last half century .

  44. Barney Trouble on April 20, 2021 at 2:49 am

    Sooooo smart. Steve hates hacks!

  45. Elijah on April 20, 2021 at 2:49 am

    Big fan of Dr Steven Novella.

  46. ILLUM TECH on April 20, 2021 at 2:50 am

    FRAUD is having 2 pharmaceutical meds of same generic but different brands being advertised differently.

    I disagree that Natural Treatments be considered Alternative Medicine
    Reality is…
    What used to be "Natural Medicine" was changed by "Chemical Medicine" because Natural was more expensive and harder to extract than making synthetic chemicals. And less profitable too.

    When you have hypertension, just use a slice of Garlic under your tongue and your BP goes normal.
    Nowadays they use Nitroglycerin (a highly volatile compound/ dynamite ingredient) under the tongue to lower HBP.

    Truth is: Chemical Medicine is "Alternative Medicine" to Natural Medicine

    These people say a lot against Natural Medicine, says it doesnt work, its not legit, its fraud, etc.
    But they dont even have a cure for Parkinsons Disease, or Diabetes, or Hypertensions, or COVID 19 for that matter.
    Whereas Natural Medicine has testimonials of people cured of illnesses that the Modern Medicine Practitioners say are INCURABLE.

    I encountered this person with a stage 4 Spinal Cancer larger than a human head, plus other complications, whose medical doctor told him to eat all the food he wants and roam to wherever he wants coz he will be dead in less than a year.

    I proposed that he take Natural Medications so he may live.
    This patient answers angrily "What RIGHT do you have to say that I will Live? Are you a MEDICAL DOCTOR?"
    I answered calmly "What RIGHT does your Medical Doctor have to say that you will die? Is he GOD?"
    So by that I convinced him and he got fully well in 7 months.

    Then his temper took over, he went to the MD, and told him…
    You %#$&*^()(*&$%@ I spent Millions on you, only for you to deprive me of all hope and tell me I will die. You didnt tell me that I would have a chance to get well.

    The MD says "Im Sorry I didnt know that. (he admits not knowing about natural medicine because it isnt his field of study)"

    Now here comes other doctors talking on social media against Natural Medicine.
    As if it was part of their study in Med School. So very laughable.

  47. Jeff M on April 20, 2021 at 2:50 am

    Presence in a doctor’s office only proves that people cant write prescriptions. My naturopath says I have the largest penis, I trust him over the "doctor" that told me to put on pants and leave the lobby before the police arrived.

  48. James Bolton on April 20, 2021 at 2:51 am

    Dr. Steven Novella is a genius!!!

  49. unbroken1010 on April 20, 2021 at 2:52 am

    So does he really think that no scientist have compromised their data to the pressure of an institution. A lots of examples out there I know people with first-hand accounts as well. I wonder what he thinks about that Bret Weinstein situation

  50. James Smith on April 20, 2021 at 2:54 am

    Anything from vitamin c, to vinegar, to baking soda, to herbal remedies, to homeopathy, to prayers, to essential oils, to Himalayan salt, to stanning Loona needs to be proven to cure the disease it claims to, or at the very least, do the healing it claims to.

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