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.

For further contact, see the following:

email address: tavelmorton@gmail.com

Phone: 317-440-4468

Twitter location: https://twitter.com/MortonTavel

Facebook location: http://www.mortontavel.com/URL/

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795 thoughts on “ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  1. Right here is the perfect website for anybody who hopes to understand this topic. You understand a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I actually would want to…HaHa). You certainly put a fresh spin on a subject that’s been discussed for many years. Excellent stuff, just great!

  2. Dear Mr. Morton Tavel,
    I have read some of your works and found your views on ‘bogus treatments’ quite interesting. There has been an epidemic of laziness and attitude of dismissal of scientific facts on the part of the medical community in relation to certain illnesses, which has led to an era of bogus ideas, bogus diagnosis and bogus treatments.

    The issue of CFS and the so called ‘SEID’ has been raised in the American Journal of Medicine. The term ‘CFS’ itself emerged in the late 1980’s during an ME epidemic in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, and was used to describe the illness ME. This illness was accepted as a physical, biological or organic illness from 1955 to 1990 by medical authorities and doctors worldwide. But after 1990 it was suddenly changed to a psychological illness by some bogus doctors who refused to accept the findings of doctors, scientists and medical authorities since 1955. The bogus diagnosis (Oxford criteria, Fukuda criteria) and bogus treatments outlined here on http://www.me-ireland.com/bogus.htm have destroyed the lives of many ME patients and their families worldwide and lead to many deaths, see http://www.ncf-net.org/memorial.htm The bogus diagnosis and treatments have quite predictably failed and produced decades of suffering and premature deaths.

    There has been a lot of scientific research into ME since 1955, and some biological facts and biomarkers and accurate diagnostic criteria have emerged, see http://www.me-ireland.com/scientific.htm and http://me-ireland.com/structure.htm#8
    These are backed up by scientific and medical facts and the experience of medical doctors in top private clinics, see http://www.me-ireland.com/diag-treat.htm Most of this has been ignored by doctors and scientists, and there have been attempts by a small grouping of renegade or bogus psychiatrists to cover up, dismiss, lie about, and undermine these scientific and medical findings. This has created a lot of confusion in the field of ME and CFS.

    It’s important to stand up for scientific truths and medical truths, and to expose the small minority of bogus doctors, psychologists and psychiatrists who are only interested in self gain and self enrichment at the expense of vulnerable and desperate patients. I look forward to conversing with you and others on this, and to future papers being published on this important illness.

    Best Regards
    David Egan.

    • David,
      Your comments are interesting and well-taken. It is probably a manifestation of laziness that researchers apply a name to a complex of symptoms, and the name then takes on a life of its own. In the process, the fact that a name has been applied tends to discourage further research on the issue. In the case of ME and CFS, as in others such a fibromyalgia, I fear that this is exactly what has happened. My presentation was an attempt to keep these issues alive and subject to much additional scrutiny and argument.
      Thanks for the comments. M.Tavel, MD

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