MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd.

An article in the Sydney Morning Herald might be interesting to some readers. It informs us that, after more than 25 years of running, the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) intends to stop offering its degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). A review of the Chinese Medicine Department found it should be wound up at the end of 2021 because

  • it was no longer financially viable,
  • did not produce enough research,
  • and did not fit with the “strategic direction” of the science faculty.

The UTS’s Chinese medicine clinic, which offers acupuncture and herbal treatments, would also close. Students who don’t finish by the end of 2021 will either move to another health course, or transfer to another university (Chinese medicine is also offered by the University of Western Sydney, RMIT in Melbourne, and several private colleges).

TCM “is a historical tradition that pre-dated the scientific era,” said the president of Friends of Science, Associate Professor Ken Harvey. “There’s nothing wrong with looking at that using modern scientific techniques. The problem is people don’t, they tend to teach it like it’s an established fact. If I was a scientifically-orientated vice chancellor I would worry about having a course in my university that didn’t have much of a research profile in traditional Chinese medicine.”

But a spokesman for the University of Technology Sydney said the debate over the scientific validity of Chinese medicine had nothing to do with the decision, and was “in no way a reflection of an institutional bias against complementary health care”. Personally, I find this statement surprising. Should the scientific validity of a subject not be a prime concern of any university?

In this context, may I suggest that the UTS might also have a critical look at their ‘AUSTRALIAN RESEARCH CENTRE IN COMPLEMENTARY AND INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE‘. They call themselves ‘the first centre worldwide dedicated to public health and health services research on complementary and integrative medicine’. Judging from the centre director’s publications, this means publishing one useless survey after another.

6 Responses to Another blow to quackademia: TCM course at a Sydney university is to be stopped

  • Gentlemen…. you focus on SCAM medicine yet totally ignore – on this forum – the many deaths caused by conventional health care, or should we say sickness care? This latest EVIDENCE BASED report (1st August 2019) adds to the statistics that nearly two-thirds of all living people die in a hospital bed as in-patients. Here is the report:

    “A sixth hospital patient has died after eating pre-packaged sandwiches and salads linked to a listeria outbreak.
    The latest death is one of nine previously confirmed cases linked to Good Food Chain products. There are no new linked cases, Public Heath England said.
    The individual fell ill with listeriosis at Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
    The trust said it was “greatly saddened” by the news.”

    The Trust may be saddened by the news, but deaths will continue – because individuals are never jailed. Example: GSK recently pleaded guilty to criminal fraud and were fined $3.5 billion dollars – but no one was jailed or held accountable…. shocking!

    • BREAKING NEWS: this blog is not about conventional medicine; it is about so-called alternative medicine (SCAM).

    • Mary Barker

      What does toxic food have to do with patients dying ?

      You (and I) are not permitted to discuss the pitfalls of science based medicine here, especially not the thousands of deaths every month that are sanctioned by the powers that be. We’re focusing here on the few and far between deaths unlicensed healers perpetuate on foolish victims via unscientific means…. shame on them.

      Close you eyes and ears, most of all… close you mind. Now get with the program.

      • Generally speaking, on any forum you’re only supposed to make comments that are relevant to the topic. It’s just basic politeness.

        It doesn’t surprise me at all that any supporter of alternative medicine has nothing to say about criticism of any of its modalities, because the entire industry has been developed and runs on the premise that there will be absolutely no criticism of it.

        Personally, I think there is a great deal that complimentary medicine could contribute to the medical system — a more personable and sensitive way of dealing with people, paying more attention to meditation, relaxation, building a friendly and nurturing atmosphere in the medical profession — medical professionals could learn a LOT from you guys.

        But instead you’re trying to force scientists to accept your vaguely worded vitalistic beliefs, which you don’t realise science already spent 300 years exploring, and found absolutely no evidence for it whatsoever — just like you guys never have either. All you’ve done is lower the standard for evidence low enough to allow your “Well I’ve seen, it works for me” arguments. And by lowering the bar so low, you let in the most vicious and calculating scammers (like Louise Hay) or the most stupid babbling idiots (like Bruce Lipton) into your fold.

        Pity, you guys could have contributed something, but you got scammed yourselves, and are too snooty to admit it.

        Did you notice that the UTS had a TCM program running for 25 years, even though it is worthless? 25 years. Science is being WAY too accommodating to this nonsense in my opinion.

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