Kimball C. Atwood, IV, MD

Founding Fellow
Board of Directors

Newton, Massachusetts, USA

Kimball C. Atwood, IV, MD, is a practicing anesthesiologist in Newton, Massachusetts, and is also board-certified in internal medicine. He is Assistant Clinical Professor at the Tufts University School of Medicine.

Dr Atwood became active in promoting the imperative of science in medicine during the 1990s, when the most recent public interest in implausible health claims began to influence American medical schools, medical literature, and government. From 2000 to 2002 he was a member of the Massachusetts Special Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medical Practitioners and wrote its report opposing the licensure of naturopaths. He has assisted the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine on matters regarding non-standard practices.

Dr Atwood has written numerous articles explaining and critiquing practices that others have termed “complementary,” “alternative,” or “integrative.” He is particularly concerned about the promotion of implausible health care practices by government and medical schools. He has explained how the current practice of Evidence-Based Medicine is frequently inadequate to the task of judging highly implausible claims. He has also exposed the dangers and ethical problems of exposing human subjects to clinical trials of implausible methods.

Dr Atwood is currently associate editor of The Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine, co-editor of Naturowatch, an editor of the Science-Based Medicine Blog, and part of the online Better Health Network. He is a Fellow of the Committee of Skeptical Inquiry.

Selected Publications:

  • “Patients have a ‘CAM’ knowledge gap – but who will fill it?” American Journal of Hematology, 2009 Dec; 84(12):788-789. [DOI]
  • “In pediatric fatality, edetate disodium was no accident” (with E Woeckner), Clinical Toxicology, 2009 Mar; 47(3):256.
  • Naturopathy: a critical appraisal,” Medscape General Medicine, 2003 Dec 30; 5(4):39; discussion, 2004 Apr 30; 6(4):34.
  • “‘Neurocranial restructuring’ and homeopathy, neither complementary nor alternative,” Archives of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, 2003 Dec; 129(12):1356-1357.
  • Revealing quotations from leading ‘naturopathic physicians’,” Quackwatch, 2001 Jul 3.
  • “Factors that shape critical thinking about ‘alternative medicine,’” Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine, 2001 Summer; 5(3):160-164.
  • “Homeopathy and critical thinking,” Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine, 2001 Summer; 5(3):146-148.


"Interview with Kimball Atwood, MD," podcast interview on The Skeptics’ Guide To The Universe, 2006 Aug 30; No. 58.

Selected Blogging:

  • “Evidence-based medicine, human studies ethics, and the ‘Gonzalez Regimen’: a disappointing editorial in the Journal of Clinical Oncology,” Science-Based Medicine, Part 1 (2010 Sep 17), Part 2 (2010 Sep 20).

Report to Legislature:

In the News:

Selected Presentations:


Science-Based Medicine Panel, Northeast Conference on Science and Skepticism, New York City, 2010 April 17.


Why evidence-based medicine is not yet science-based medicine,” Science-Based Medicine Conference, The Amazing Meeting 7, Las Vegas, 2009. [Bibliography]

The Online Kimball Atwood:

Better Health logo