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

| December 14, 2015 | 0 Comments

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.

Category: Podcast

About the Author ()

Ted Meissner is the host of the podcast Present Moment: Mindfulness Practice and Science. He has been a meditator since the early 90’s, has been interviewed for Books and Ideas, Mindful Lives, and The Whole Leader podcasts, spoken about mindfulness with various groups including Harvard Humanist Hub, and has written for Elephant Journal and The International Journal of Whole Person Care. He is the Executive Director of the Secular Buddhist Association, host of the SBA’s official podcast The Secular Buddhist, and is on the Advisory Board for the Spiritual Naturalist Society. Ted’s background is in the Zen and Theravada traditions, he is a regular speaker on interfaith panel discussions, and is interested in examining the evolution of contemplative practice in contemporary culture. Ted teaches Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care & Society, where he is the Manager of Online Programming and Community Development.

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