Author Archives: Stephen Propatier

About Stephen Propatier

Stephen Propatier is a board certified acute care nurse practitioner who specializes in spine and sports medicine. He is a member of the Society for Science Based Medicine. He is adjunct faculty for both Brown University Warren Alpert Medical School and Rhode Island College Graduate School of Nursing.

Turmeric: What is it Good For?

The supplement industry historically is a conga-line of promoters selling unproven or disproven health products. Supplement claims are crank whack-a-mole for the most part—knock one down and another comes up. It is an industry that markets with a constant drone of miracle … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Medicine, Consumer Ripoffs, Food, Health, Nature, Pseudoscience, Science | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 60 Comments

The Laboratory Fallacy

Medical treatment is based on data. Clinical data, statistical data and laboratory data are the main points of interest, though laboratory data is a kind of scientific anomaly in medicine. Although controlled laboratory conditions are the most rigorous kind of … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Medicine, Consumer Ripoffs, Health, Pseudoscience, Science | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Bigfoot Is Racking Up Frequent Flier Miles

Bigfoot is the mythological ape-like creature of modern pop culture and cryptozoology. It’s popular enough that there’s even a show, Finding Bigfoot, dedicated to finding it. (I’m still waiting after nine seasons for them to find it!) Bigfoot is low-hanging fruit … Continue reading

Posted in Paranormal, Urban Legends | Tagged , , , , , | 33 Comments

Susan Gerbic: Vampire Slayer

Susan Gerbic at The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry has put out the call for all vampire slayers. Does this mean that we should all stock up on garlic, holy water and get some really high collars for our shirts? No, … Continue reading

Posted in New Age, Paranormal, TV & Media | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

Shortening Your Cold

The holidays can bring joy to individuals. Unfortunately joy is not the only thing brought into your home on the holidays: getting together with family and friends is also a big part of spreading the cold virus. The common cold is actually a … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Medicine, Consumer Ripoffs, Health, Pseudoscience | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 66 Comments

Pop Culture Medical Mistakes

As someone who works in medicine I find it difficult to be entertained by medical entertainments. From Grey’s Anatomy to Robin Cook’s novels I cannot suspend disbelief and live in the stories. This is mostly because I avoid conflating my work … Continue reading

Posted in Science, Skeptoid Podcast | Tagged , , , , , | 50 Comments

FDA Smackdown on GMO Fear Mongering

In my estimation, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) incur fear mongering of the highest order, perhaps second only to vaccines, if at all. For reasons that escape me there has been a concerted effort to marginalize or outright stop the use and development … Continue reading

Posted in Conspiracy Theories, Pseudoscience, Science, Skeptoid Podcast | Tagged , , , , | 126 Comments

When I Lost My Respect for Tom Brady

In the US, American-style football is big, both as an entertainment medium, and as a business. Worldwide, people are aware of the sport’s premier contest, the Super Bowl, even if they don’t watch it. Last year the New England Patriots won … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Medicine, Conspiracy Theories, Consumer Ripoffs, Health, Pseudoscience, TV & Media | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Beware the Squatty Potty

The Squatty Potty is an invention by Robert Edwards; its express purpose to to improve the quality and ease of your bowel movements while on the toilet. It has a catchy name and is sold everywhere from Target to Amazon.com. … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Medicine, Health, Pseudoscience, Science, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 119 Comments

Is Alkaline Water the Next Great Miracle Cure?

In late August, Good Morning America ran a story about the health benefits of alkaline water. The story claims a multitude health benefits from drinking water that has an alkaline pH. Alkaline water is slightly less acidic than tap water, and remarkable effects have been … Continue reading

Posted in Health, Pseudoscience, Science, TV & Media | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments