Episode 058 :: Dr. Cathy Kerr :: Placebo Effects: A Middle Way

Dr. Cathy Kerr

In this first of a two-part series, Dr. Cathy Kerr joins us to speak about the complexities of placebo effects.

We seem to be living in a time of polar opposites. Whatever the stance, there are those who take a hard line, and are utterly dismissive of opposing ideas. In the realm of healing, this is particularly sharp a contrast, with unscientific claims about cosmic energy on one side, and hard scientific requirements for evidence on the other. It’s prudent to be skeptical rather than cynical, subjecting a given hypothesis to rigorous analysis and strongly double blinded controls. And when the effects are labeled as placebo, well, that’s the end of that…. right?

Maybe not. Something I’m curious about is the placebo effect itself, what is it that we might learn by studying that, and if we’re continuing with tested medical treatment, are there benefits to placebo treatments we know may not have any direct healing effects?

Dr. Cathy Kerr got her B.A. from Amherst College, and her Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins. She has been a lecturer at Harvard University, and is Assistant Professor at the Department of Family Medicine at Brown University School of Medicine.

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Music for This Episode Courtesy of Rodrigo Rodriguez

The music heard in this podcast is from Rodrigo Rodriguez. You can visit his website to hear more of his music, get the full discography, and view his upcoming tour dates.

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