Kimball C. Atwood IV, MD (Emeritus)


Kimball Atwood IV, MD is a practicing anesthesiologist who is also board-certified in internal medicine. He had been interested in pseudoscience for years, but became active in 2000 after advocated Therapeutic Touch, Guided Imagery, and several other implausible practices as effective treatments for pleural mesothelioma. Shortly thereafter he became a member of the Massachusetts Special Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medical Practitioners, and subsequently wrote its opposing licensure for naturopaths.

Dr. Atwood has written many articles and treatises on implausible medical claims, among which are several concerning naturopathy, such as and and on the website. He has provided expert opinion to the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine regarding non-standard practices. He is an associate editor of the and co-editor of Naturowatch. He is particularly concerned with implausible claims being promoted, tacitly or otherwise, by and . He is also dubious about the of such claims.

Early in his investigations he noticed that academic medical treatments of implausible claims are typically more optimistic than the evidence warrants. He observed that this is because while ignoring other, usually more compelling evidence: facts of nature, for example.He soon found a few others who shared this opinion, including Drs. Steven Novella and Wallace Sampson of this Blog. All recognized that the phenomenon exposes a major weakness in “Evidence-Based Medicine” (EBM): lacks the formal inclusion of much external evidence, particularly basic science. EBM therefore presumes in the rigor of its only real tools: , “,” and meta-analyses. Dr. Atwood is pleased that the Science Based Medicine Blog is a forum for discussion of this topic, among others.

Kimball’s posts for Private-investigator-detective are archived here.