Dr. Tavel has recently completed a book for the general public entitled “Snake Oil is Alive and Well: The Clash between Myths and Reality–Reflections of a Physician”. In it he presents an overview of how medical science has evolved over the past 200 years, how the underlying thought patterns in this field have progressed to overcome numerous biases and superstitions, and how many of these derived lessons can be applied to the public at large. Modern psychological and medical studies have demonstrated how biases and myths are formed, how pervasive they remain to this day, and how they can be recognized and combated. As a result, the book blends psychological and medical views that contain many valuable lessons for every individual. These include personal health issues such as facts and myths about diets, exercise, proper nutrition, vitamin supplements, and how to avoid frauds and rip-offs. The powerful influence of the so-called “placebo effect” in virtually all treatment encounters is reviewed in detail, and how these effects can explain the apparent success of such bizarre practices as faith healing, alternative medicine, chiropractic medicine, and acupuncture. But these same principles extend far beyond health issues to explain biases that produce mistakes by investors and analysts in financial and stock markets, basketball fans and coaches, gamblers, and even the errors of thought manifested by political and world leaders.
Harriet Hall, MD, science writer and contributing editor to Skeptic and Skeptical Inquirer publications and of website, Science Based Medicine has reviewed the book’s contents prior to publication and provided the following statement:
“Dr. Tavel has done an outstanding job of assembling a wealth of information. The book might have been titled “How to Think” as it teaches the reader to apply critical thinking skills to issues in medicine as well as to other areas like politics where errors in thinking could have serious consequences. Along with covering blatant snake oil hoaxes and questionable claims from antioxidants to chelation, he delves into evidence-based medicine and shares his own conclusions based on the published data about everything from vitamins to diet. There are other books on alternative medicine, medical fraud, medical science, the pharmaceutical industry, the history of medicine, health advice, and critical thinking, but this book has all the essentials in one convenient package. A tour de force”.
Dr Tavel is a lifelong native of Indianapolis, having received both college and medical degrees at Indiana University. After completing his undergraduate studies, he graduated summa cum laude and was elected to the honorary scholastic society of Phi Beta Kappa. Upon completion of his medical training, he was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha for scholastic achievement in this field. His post-graduate specialized training included stints in Philadelphia and Salt Lake City. After serving in the U.S. Army Medical Corps for two years in Germany, he returned to Indianapolis to complete has training and to begin medical practice.
Now retired, Dr. Tavel is a physician specialist in internal medicine and cardiovascular diseases. In addition to managing patients for many years, he previously held a teaching position (Clinical Professor) at Indiana University School of Medicine. In addition, he has presented numerous speeches and lectures before national audiences. His medical research includes over 125 publications, editorials and book reviews that have appeared in peer-reviewed national medical journals. He was formerly the director of the cardiac rehabilitation program at St. Vincent Hospital, Indianapolis, Indiana, and consulting cardiologist for the Care Group, Inc., a division of St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis.
Dr. Tavel previously authored a book on cardiology that persisted through four editions over a period of approximately 20 years, and has been a contributor to several other multi-authored textbooks. His civic activities include, among others, having been past president of the local and state divisions of the American Heart Association.
A video introduction to his latest book “Snake Oil is Alive and Well” can be found in the following website: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7wVTbn1LEw&list=UU4F0O1bIh3zwYq6Vzmn-LwQ&index=1&feature=plcp
Purchase orders can be made from Amazon.com at the following: http://www.amazon.com/Snake-Oil-Alive-Well-Reality-Reflections/dp/1936587882/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1372123771&sr=1-2&keywords=snake+oil+is+alive+and+well
From Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/snake-oil-is-alive-and-well-md-morton-e-tavel/1112799850?ean=9781936587889
His next book, entitled “Hell in the Heavens: The Saga of a WW2 Bomber Pilot” was based upon the memoirs of his late cousin, David Tavel (Col, USAF). Information can be found elsewhere on the website.
His most recent book is entitled “Health Tips, Myths and Tricks. A Physician’s Advice”, is an extension of the first book, presenting much more practical advice about matters of health for the general public.
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