Government approved ‘medical intuition’?

No pseudo-scienceThe Vancouver Public Library recently held a wellness fair in the atrium of the main branch. Among the usual alternative wellness organizations, (chiropractic, reflexology, naturopathy, etc.) was a small exhibitor who caught my eye: The College of Medical Intuition.

My first thought was, “That should be a good subject for an amusing blog post.” Unfortunately, I was in too much of  a rush to stop and speak to the pleasant-looking woman in charge of the booth, so later, I checked out the website. As I thought it would be, it is 100% gobbledegook and woo-woo. Here are some quotes:

  • It is the mission of the College of Medical Intuition to bring awareness and create wellness through the integration of the mind, body and soul;
  • This can be accomplished through the art of intuition;
  • We all enter this world with an internal blueprint that can be accessed through our sixth sense of intuition. [DNA sequencing by sixth sense?]

And that was just in the mission statement. Other gems were:

  • Students learn to intuitively assess physical, emotional and energetic states of wellness with an aim of finding originating causes of dysfunctions; [Would I rather be diagnosed by someone with 218 hours of woo-woo training vs. a doctor with seven years at University… Hmmmm.]
  • Energy Medicine is the art and science of working the natural subtle energies of the body to empower the individual to align with health, vitality and well-being. Eastern cultures have long recognized these energies, and more recently Western medicine is adopting this premise. [Really??? Who specifically?]
  • Energy medicine combines the mind/body connection, the emotions and the energy intake system (chakras).

I looked at the course schedule and a couple of Deepak Chopra’s books were required reading ‘textbooks’—the woo-woo seal of approval!

One thing made me laugh out loud. In the course pre-requisites, one has to have: Prior post-secondary degree or successful practice or training in an energy-based field. Nice to know that the years required to complete a post-secondary degree are equivalent to an unspecified amount of woo-woo experience/training.

Then, one paragraph on the website took the grin from my face:

It is with great pleasure and pride I announce CMI is now officially a registered education facility under PCTIA which is a Crown Corporation under the Ministry of Advanced Education of British Columbia. 

I was appalled. I could not believe that a government body was endorsing this pseudo-scientific claptrap. I checked the PCTIA website and, yes indeed, the “College” is registered with them.

It seems that all private educational institutions must be registered with the PCTIA but I could not find the criteria for registration on their website

So I fired off an email to Monica Lust, the Registrar and CEO of PCTIA:

Hi Monica,

On the website for the College of Medical Intuition it is claimed that:

“CMI is now officially a registered education facility under PCTIA.”

I reviewed the website of this College and it makes a large number of claims which have absolutely no medical or scientific basis. I find it very disturbing that a Crown Corporation, responsible for the regulation of advanced education, would register this so-called College.

Before I take this matter further, would you please let me know your basis for registering this institution.

Regards,
Robert French.

While awaiting Ms. Lust’s reply, I emailed CMI posing as a potential student asking about fees. I received back a form-letter style email which mentioned everything except fees. So I called the college and had a nice chat with the lady whom I saw at the ‘wellness fair’, Dr. Marilyn Parkin, who describes herself as a gifted Medical Intuitive and a doctoral graduate of the Energy Medicine program taught by Dr. C. Norman Shealy and Dr. Caroline Myss. (For a good laugh, check out their credentials.)

She informed me that the “Certified Medical Intuitive” program takes four semesters. In each semester there are fourteen hours of classroom time and about 40 hours of distance education. Each semester costs $2,995. With books, this program costs the students over $12,000!!

After the email and three follow up calls to the Registrar at PCTIA, I received nothing until I sent an email requesting a response with a cc to Eric Adriaans, the National Executive Director of the Centre for Inquiry Canada. At this point Ms. Lust sent me an email with links to all the PCTIA rules and procedures around registration.

I reviewed the Act of Parliament which governs PCTIA and there seems to be nothing that mandates the organization to validate the content of the training (This is not that surprising as PCTIA was incorporated in 2004 to regulate some of the more dubious private language and technology schools which had proliferated in BC at the time.)

I have some sympathy for Ms. Lust who is new in the position and probably had nothing to do with the registration of the ‘College’ of Medical Intuition.

I believe that the solution here is to change the Act so that PCTIA is mandated to verify the science behind any institutions claiming to teach any medical technology or pseudo-science.

My next step will be to contact the Minister…

STAY TUNED.

 

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