Researchers of so-called alternative medicine (SCAM) don’t come more impressive than Wayne Jonas. Here is what he has to say about himself:


  • Integrative Health Expert, Family Physician, Researcher, and Author
  • Former Director NIH Office of Alternative Medicine
  • Former Director World Health Organization Center for Traditional Medicine
  • Former Director of Medical Research Fellowship at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research
  • Retired Lt. Colonel United States Army Medical Corps
  • Practicing Family Physician at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital Pain Clinic
  • Clinical Professor of Family Medicine, Georgetown University
  • Executive Director of Samueli Integrative Health Programs

Wayne Jonas, MD, is a board-certified, practicing family physician, an expert in integrative health and health care delivery, and a widely published scientific investigator. Additionally, Dr. Jonas is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Medical Corps of the United States Army. From 2001-2016, he was President and Chief Executive Officer of Samueli Institute, a non-profit medical research organization supporting the scientific investigation of healing processes in the areas of stress, pain and resilience.

Dr. Jonas was the Director of the Office of Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health from 1995-1999, and prior to that served as the Director of the Medical Research Fellowship at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians.

His research has appeared in peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of the American Medical Association, Nature Medicine, the Journal of Family Practice, the Annals of Internal Medicine, and The Lancet. Dr. Jonas received the 2015 Pioneer Award from the Integrative Healthcare Symposium, the 2007 America’s Top Family Doctors Award, the 2003 Pioneer Award from the American Holistic Medical Association, the 2002 Physician Recognition Award of the American Medical Association, and the 2002 Meritorious Activity Prize from the International Society of Life Information Science in Chiba, Japan.

Dr. Jonas is currently the Executive Director of Samueli Integrative Health Programs, an effort supported by Henry and Susan Samueli to empower patients and doctors by providing solutions that enhance health, prevent disease, and relieve chronic pain.

Could such a high-flyer be a candidate for membership in THE ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE HALL OF FAME? In other words, is he as adept in avoiding the publication of negative conclusions as all these geniuses who are already members?

Let’s see. My Medline search for ‘Jonas WR, clinical trial‘ generated 74 hits, of which 11 papers referred to clinical trials or systematic reviews of SCAMs. Here are their conclusions or key passages from the abstracts:

  1. It is possible that individualised homeopathy entails specific psychotherapeutic processes in addition to possible therapeutic action of the homeopathic remedy, but the relative contributions of each remain to be determined.
  2. This study indicates that niacinamide may have a role in the treatment of osteoarthritis. Niacinamide improved the global impact of osteoarthritis, improved joint flexibility, reduced inflammation, and allowed for reduction in standard anti-inflammatory medications when compared to placebo.
  3. Based on the results of our review, acupuncture appears to be effective for treating headaches and, although more research is needed, seems to be a promising treatment option for anxiety, sleep disturbances, depression and chronic pain.
  4. The database on studies of homeopathy and placebo in psychiatry is very limited, but results do not preclude the possibility of some benefit.
  5. These results are consistent with the finding from the previous study that individualized homeopathic treatment decreases the duration of diarrhea and number of stools in children with acute childhood diarrhea.
  6. Observational research into uncontrolled homeopathic practice documents consistently strong therapeutic effects and sustained satisfaction in patients.
  7. When laboratory studies were compared to clinical studies in the areas of hands-on healing and distance healing across the quality criteria for internal validity, distance healing studies scored better than hands-on healing studies, and laboratory studies fared better than clinical studies.
  8. Three independent systematic reviews of placebo-controlled trials on homeopathy reported that its effects seem to be more than placebo, and one review found its effects consistent with placebo. There is also evidence from randomized, controlled trials that homeopathy may be effective for the treatment of influenza, allergies, postoperative ileus, and childhood diarrhea.
  9. Participants in the acupuncture group experienced a 23% reduction in pain before leaving the ER, while average pain levels in participants in the standard medical care group remained basically unchanged. (p < 0.0005). However, both groups experienced a similar reduction in pain 24 hours following treatment in the ER.
  10. There was a trend towards less narcotic usage in the Traumeel patients. No statistically beneficial effect from Traumeel was demonstrated for mucositis. We could not confirm that Traumeel is an effective treatment for mucositis in children undergoing HSCT.
  11. Acupuncture was effective for reducing PTSD symptoms.

Considering the above CV of Wayne Jonas, the quantity of this collective output seems a bit underwhelming. But can Wayne join THE ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE HALL OF FAME nevertheless? Who could refuse such an influential author of exclusively positive conclusions?


6 Responses to Wayne Jonas joins ‘THE ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE HALL OF FAME’

  • OT, but here’s one for the “what’s the harm?” file:

    Bondi Detoxologie clinic breaches infection controls forcing clients to get tested for blood-borne viruses like HIV
    Clients of a “wellness” clinic in Sydney’s east are being urged to get tested for HIV and other blood-borne viruses after practitioners were found to have breached infection controls.

  • Surely this should be the Hall of Infamy or Hall of Notoriety.

    ‘Fame’ has connotations of worthyness, notability and having recognition of achievements.

    And the whole point about the characters so far entering the Hall’s hallowed chambers is that their achievements, such as they are, have been unworthy, lacking in integrity and involved spreading falsehoods.

    I would not wish them to have anymore honour than they deserve.

    Indeed, the top member of the AMHoF should be Professor Ernst himself.
    Not for practising or endorsing alternative medicine, but for educating us all to its falsehoods and quackery.

    If AM exists at all (and it clearly does), then those contributing to a better understanding of its vagaries, scams, falsehoods and lack of critical thinking should be honoured by the Hall.

    Welcome indeed!

    [Motto: “They’ve all got it in for me!”]

  • Yeah…it is a real bitch when good scientists do good research and then get published in high-impact medical ands scientific journals, and then, the clincher is that their results vary from your personal beliefs.

    Congratulations…you’ve simply proven your personal biases and your unscientific attitudes. Sympathies all around…

    • so, Dana, you can differentiate good science from bad?
      which of Wayne’s papers is good, in your opinion?
      and how come all his conclusions are positive?

    • so, Dana, you can tell good from bad science?
      which of Wayne’s articles is particularly good then?
      and how come he never arrives at a negative conclusion?

    • And what’s happened as a result of this “research” then, Dana? Has medicine changed.


      Jonas’ work been recognised as the fatuous wishful rubbish that it is and rightfully ignored.

      Oh dear. How sad. Never mind.

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