Pseudo-Credentialed Practioners in the IHC ~ Part I: Intro and the Caltons

One of those "inside jokes"
that will makes sense by
the end of this post!
It's not like I need to start another series, but I have just reached the tipping point with all the nonsense being circulated around this community in the name of science and medical advice.  I cannot think of anything in real life that is so messed up as these unpara-professionals pretending to be "experts" and giving out potentially harmful advice to people they will never even meet or even exchange a meaningful email with.   

When I say "unpara" I am referring to the fact that not only are these self-described experts not paraprofessionals (e.g. a paralegal has some formal training in the law, but they cannot practice it;  nurses are licensed medical professionals, but are nonetheless not trained to practice medicine), but they don't have any professional relevance at all.

At least in real life you get to look the person in the eye before parting with your money.  Not so on the internet ...  Also missing on the internet is regulation, and isn't it curious that most of these pseudo-credentialed experts like to lecture you on how you're just a sheeple if you think government has any role in all of this. 

If I have a toothache and go to a dentist, I know that this person has completed a formal education in the field, passed the necessary qualifications and met the standards of a licensing board.  I can verify these in short order including from where and when this person graduated, etc.  I don't have to rely on an often-vague online bio.  I know the facility is staffed with qualified personnel and meets health board standards for sanitation and such.  I know that they use approved materials and methods and use validated procedures and that I'm not some guinea pig.    And if they don't or something goes wrong, I at least have formal avenues of recourse that don't involve a huge financial investment on my part, although that would remain on the table.

To save money, I could go have the procedure done at a dental school by a student.  Guess what?  This student is being supervised by an actual dentist.  Some prefer local anesthetic for "deep cleanings" and even that is administered by the dentist.  The receptionist doesn't read x-rays and formulate a treatment plan.  The hygienist often alerts the dentist if anything suspicious shows up during a cleaning, but they don't make diagnoses either.   

If this dentist finds a cavity beginning to form, here's a news flash for you!  A good dentist will send you away with a cleaning and keep an eye on it.  I have strong teeth and not much experience with cavities.  In the way too much info department, I have had a "deep pit stain" in middle molar for decades now and even the dentist with a big cosmetic angle didn't bother to convince me it needed addressing.   I've also had a couple of suspicious spots that have resolved themselves, to the no-big-surprise of my dentist I might add.  I've had good dentists and bad dentists -- frankly quite a lot of dentists -- as moving around a bit and different insurance plans meant going to different ones over the decades.  

I cannot imagine having a tooth problem and thinking to myself, you know what?  Let me go to that Chiropractor down the block with the giant tooth "shingle" hanging out.   And yet, you can now practice medicine and dentistry on the internet and beyond if you have a D.C. (Doctor of Chiropractic).  Couple of notes on chiropractors.  I have friends and even relatives that are chiropractors.  I have friends and relatives who swear by their chiropractor, who have received good "one time" care from one that "fixed" a problem, as well as those who have spent countless dollars at a chiropractor's office to no benefit and even worsening of a condition.  Thankfully I know nobody personally who has been irrevocably harmed by one, but these exist as well.   

If I were going to go see one myself, I couldn't very well be treated by them on the internet!   I would ask folks I respected for a referral, check out the practice and such as well, and give it a shot.  If it worked, I'd continue until the issue was resolved, if it did not appear to be working, I'd settle up my bill and never go back.  Pretty darned simple.  This is the way I feel about a lot of so-called "alternative" medicine.  I'm far less against it in real life than I am on the internet, and no this isn't a hypocritical stance.  I mentioned the dentists ... I've done my homework on new ones, waited weeks for an appointment, and walked in and back out of a first consultation because I got a bad vibe.  Scientific of me?  Not particularly.  But real life spidey senses have served me well my whole life and it's only when I ignore that voice that I tend to get into trouble.  If I went to a chiro and knew ahead of time it would cost me $250 (making up a number) then I'd make the decision to invest/chance that amount.  Elective medicine of the mainstream sort used to work more in this fashion as well, the truly elective stuff still does, but that's a topic for a different day.  

What I wouldn't do is go to the chiropractor for a toothache.  And yet, every other "doctor" on the internet it seems is a chiropractor with some additional *official* certification in nutrition and such.  The only thing these doctors don't practice across the vast world wide web is actual chiropractic.  Interesting that.  And yet it is without even a hint of irony that these folks are tapped as "experts" in summit after online summit and booked as podcast guests to talk about their "specialty" in dealing with a laundry list of maladies, both real and made up.

Which brings us back to the Caltons, Mira and Jayson to be exact.  Recognize them?  They've been on the last few LLVLC cruises and pop up in the media from time to time.   

Now perhaps my Alphabet Soup makes more sense!  I'll address some of the other credentials, but see that fourth one for each?  CMS -- that stands for Certified Micronutrient Specialist.    They are "board certified" dontcha know.  

Well, you see, they made up the certification.  They are the board.  Doesn't get any more ridiculous than that.  Listen to these two for five minutes and your head will explode from their made up facts and scientific ignorance!

So in future posts I hope to provide some info on various credentials that many in the IHC sport as substitutes for formal academic study and/or credentials from respected associations.  This will include but not be limited to:  Institute for Functional Medicine (certified practitioner), Institute for Integrative Nutrition (health coach), CNC (certified nutritional consultant), CNT (certified nutritional therapist), diabetes educator, etc.  These are not necessarily "bad" certifications to have, but folks should be aware of what sort of training is really involved the next time someone is acting as an "expert" in one of these online summits or CONferences, and especially before you decide to spend money on an online coaching or consultation program.


Glenn Dixon said…
This is fun! Need help?
MacSmiley said…
CONferences!! ROFL

Brilliant graphic. Didn't even notice the Campbell's was replaced by Carlton's until after I read the post.
Jane Karlsson said…
I just watched their promotional video. They are impossibly goodlooking and impossibly slick. I think they will make a lot of money, because they have a sensational new idea about what causes disease. It's micronutrient deficiency! Now I find this very interesting because I was thrown out of my Oxford fellowship 30 years ago for saying exactly this. At that time it was caused by genes and could be fixed with gene therapy, if enough money was provided.
John Smith said…
I have a certificate in Holistic Quantum Nutritional Science, solid as the rock of Gibraltar. People with phony credentials are worse than pathetic.
Kenny M said…
I wonder what Tom "Fat-Head" Naughton's credentials could be. He's been sharing a lot of paleo knowledge recently, specifically about butter and how it's so good for your heart. Perhaps Tom Naughton BGF, FCCS. (Builder of Goat Fences, Former Comedian of Cruise Ships).
MacSmiley said…
And they diagnose deficiencies how? By testing saliva?? ;-P
Mike Victor said…
Jayson helps lower people's cholesterol? Quick, someone inform Jimmy Moore the man is an agent of death!
MacSmiley said…
"recently"? Hasn't Naughton been at it for awhile?
Mike Victor said…
Because our Paleolithic ancestors ate butter and had farms.
Mike Victor said…
Oh, and "seizures" is misspelled as "seizers." Maybe he plagerized Nina Teicholz?
charles grashow said…

Tom first realized the value of making people laugh when he paid for his entire college education with one joke — the one that begins, “Mom, Dad … I want to be a doctor.” Tom’s parents still laugh about this joke and are fond of repeating it to their friends, as well as to strangers they meet in restaurants and on airplanes.

After two years of pre-med, Tom switched to a self-directed major called “Random Courses That Do Not Involve Studying Organic Chemistry.” By creating his own major, Tom enjoyed the rare distinction of graduating at the top and bottom of his class simultaneously. His valedictorian speech was very short, as he was the only one in attendance.

After college, Tom worked as a writer and editor for a magazine published by the National Safety Council. But after publishing some humor essays in Newsweek, OMNI and Playgirl, he quit in a blaze of optimism to become a freelance writer. He soon discovered that occasional bylines in national magazines did not impress landlords or credit-card companies, so he decided to look into alternate careers that offered more security. He chose acting and standup comedy.

Eventually Tom became a regular on the comedy-club circuit, appearing in major clubs such as Zanies, The Ice House, and Yuk-Yuk’s, as well as in a lot of bars and bowling alleys he’d rather not talk about. He moved to Los Angeles and appeared in several sketch-comedy shows, a few plays, and his own original play, “Quest for the Ultimate Cool,” about a guy who wastes several years trying on different personas in a misguided effort to become somebody cool — not that anyone in Los Angeles could relate to the idea.

Tom also booked a sitcom role in his very first Hollywood audition, as a doctor on “Encore! Encore!” — which was canceled by NBC the day after the audition, proving that Tom has comic timing even when it’s nota good idea. Tom still appears in clubs and on cruise ships, and is known for a clean, cerebral style. He is also the writer/director of the comedy-documentary “Fat Head: you’ve been fed a load of bologna.”
Rand Bradley said…
Perhaps you should also make sure ads for sites like this one doesn't show up on your site again.
Kenny M said…
Yes, but he's getting more dogmatic, to the point of parody. He most recently stated that he'd rather have his daughters eat 8 oz of butter over 1 slice of wheat bread.
Kenny M said…
I guess that kind of answered my question on Tom's credentials (he doesn't have any). I'll hit him up if I want any knock-off Cosby-type jokes though.
Jane Karlsson said…
Well they are Certified Micronutrient Specialists, so they know which symptoms go with which deficiencies. For instance symptoms of heart disease mean copper deficiency.

I just looked up Nutrience to find out how much copper it has. NONE.
...and a forced sense of comedy.
carbsane said…
Cerebral humor :p
Ancestral Chemist said…
In her "cookbook" Practical Paleo, Diane Sanfilippo offers specific "supplement recommendations" and meal plans for people suffering from all and sundry illnesses--from diabetes to heart disease to cancer (!) and Alzheimers'. (No, I'm not making this up.) She has no credentials either--I'm wondering whether this is legal.
carbsane said…
Yeah, I looked into Bauman and it's very meal plan heavy almost from the get go. Appears to be more of a cooking school that decided to branch into nutrition info. I haven't read PP, but I do have 21DSD and it is chock full of BS.

Legal? There seems to be no limit to what folks can write in a book and slap a legal medical disclaimer on. You've got two books out there on keto for cancer that are written by women with zero medical or scientific background. One of the books touts keto as an alternative to chemo and makes it sound preferable, the other is by a women who had breast cancer, received traditional therapy, hasn't been post-cancer that long yet credits keto for getting and keeping her cancer free.

There was a time not all that long ago when being an RD meant far more than weight loss and diabetes treatment.

It seems the only thing anyone is interested in remotely cracking down on it is practicing MDs who might be seen to be giving 1:1 medical consults on the internet. Otherwise anything goes. :(
Glenn Dixon said…
I can't believe I just saw this! lol - email on the way.
Glenn Dixon said…
FYI, emailed you on the 20th.... :)

dixonge at gmail dot com
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