how two scientists applied to be homeopaths

August 28, 2010

Dan Burnett needed a job and he recently spotted a help wanted ad that sounded great on the blog of David Briggs. The job was that of a homeopathic doctor, promising convenient hours and great pay, about £68,000 per year. Funny fact was that this post was coming at the expense of 500 real doctors with far less convenient hours and whose treatments and recommendations actually had to come with evidence behind them. But it’s a job and Briggs needed one. So he decided to send a resume and a cover letter which opened with…

Whilst I have no formal medical qualification, I believe that I am ideally suited for the job of handing out sugar pills to unsuspecting patients on behalf of NHS Scotland. My PhD level scientific training and 6.5 years postdoctoral experience means I know lots of scientific and biomedical buzz words with which I can bamboozle [my] prospective patients like “medical biomimicry”, “postconditioning hormesis”, “quantum entanglement” and “the placebo effect.”

As a fellow scientist and skeptic, Burnett also decided to apply for the job, touting his neuroscience experience as another excellent source of pseudoscientific jargon and word salad science. Although he admits that he’s primarily interested in a position that requires, you know, real science, he writes that he’s more than happy to try one falling into the non-scientific category just to shake things up…

I am keen to apply for this position as I am currently seeking work in the Scientific field. However, I am also considering non-scientific work, and the position of Doctor of Homeopathy seems ideally suited to the latter category. I am a qualified doctor of Neuroscience, so am aware of many long and complex words which I often use to convince people I know what I’m talking about, when in reality I am just exploiting their ignorance for my own amusement. As such, I feel I would be an ideal candidate for the post of doctor of homeopathy. Ridiculous claims that I have successfully convinced people are true include the following…

What? I’m not going to give you the entire letters, so follow the links and check them out. Both are a doozy and absolutely dead-on in their assessments of what a homeopath needs to be able to do to keep his job. Dan’s formal paperwork is also properly impressive so give it a look see if you have the chance. Can you imagine neither of them even got an interview after demonstrating the kind of impressive pseudoscience they could lay down on unsuspecting patients? What, did British homeopaths finally watch what Mitchell and Webb had to say about them and realized the comic duo was actually making fun of their woo?

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