Friday, October 10, 2008

The American Medical Autism Board

From the latest Quackwatch newsletter:

Autism "pseudo-board" launched.

Practitioners of "biomedical" autism treatments have formed the American Medical Autism Board (AMAB), whose stated mission is "to promote safe, ethical, efficacious medical autism treatment to the public by maintaining high standards for the examination and certification of physician as autism medical specialists." The relevant treatments, none of which has been scientifically proven to be effective, include chelation therapy, dietary supplements, and various dietary approaches. AMAB is not recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), which is the recognized standard-setting organization for physician-certifying boards in the United States. AMAB is little more than an attempt by unscientific practitioners to make their credentials look better.

--Stephen Barrett, M.D.
Board Chairman, Quackwatch, Inc.

I couldn't improve on what Dr. Barrett said so I quoted the whole thing. I did, however, do a little digging of my own.

The first odd thing that I noticed about this board is that Heidi Scheer serves on it. Heidi is Mrs. Michigan United States 2008. I'm not sure how that qualifies her to be on a medical board. She is an advocate of biomedical treatments for autism but I'd think you'd want doctors on a board that certifies, y'know, doctors. But, if the ABMS doesn't recognize it I guess they can put whoever they want in there.

Next up is the board's chairman, Dr. Phillip DeMio. I found a few references to his practice online but the most damning evidence is from Dr. DeMio's own website. His treatments page contains a list that looks strikingly similar to the ones Dr. Offit listed as being ineffective "cures" in Autism's False Prophets.

Also, the VitalChoice Healthstore site (which sells homeopathic remedies) lists Dr. DeMio on their Find a CAM Practitioner page. Nuff said.

Related link: Autism Watch.


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