Stephen Barrett, M.D., Curriculum Vitae


September 21, 2019

Personal Data

  • Address: 287 Fearrington Post; Pittsboro, NC 27312
  • Email: Click here
  • Telephone: (919) 533-6009.
  • Born: New York City, 1933
  • Married, three children, five grandchildren
  • Wife, Judith Nevyas Barrett, M.D., is a retired family practitioner.

Education and Training

  • A.B., Columbia University, 6/54
  • M.D., Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, 6/57
  • Completed rotating internship, Highland Park General Hospital (Michigan) 6/58
  • Completed 3-year psychiatric residency at Temple University Hospital, Philadelphia, 6/61
  • Correspondence course in American Law and Procedure, LaSalle University Extension Division, Chicago (1½ years completed), 12/66-12/68

Psychiatric Experience (1961-1993)

  • Chief, Psychiatric Service, Scott Air Force Base Hospital, Illinois, 8/61-7/63
  • Psychiatrist, San Francisco Juvenile Court, 7/63-8/67
  • Psychiatrist, San Francisco Child Psychiatry Clinic, 7/63-1/66
  • Private practice of psychiatry, 8/63-12/93
  • Consultant, San Francisco Department of Welfare, 8/64-7/65
  • Consultant, school nurses, San Francisco Public Health Department, 8/65-12/65
  • Consultant, Parks Job Corps Camp, 12/65-1/66
  • Psychiatrist, Center For Special Problems, 2/66-8/67
  • Consultant, San Francisco Adult Probation Department, 8/66-8/67
  • Staff Psychiatrist, Allentown State Hospital, 9/67-7/77
  • Consultant, Pa. Board of Probation and Parole (research project), 11/67-2/69
  • Consultant, Lehigh Valley Mental Health Association, 12/67-2/69
  • Consultant, Lutheran Children’s Home, 2/68-6/72
  • Psychiatrist, Allentown Hospital Psychiatric Clinic, 4/68-6/90
  • Consultant, Pastoral Institute of the Lehigh Valley, 11/68-1/71
  • Consultant, Allentown Counseling Center for Alcoholism, 6/69-6/72
  • Consultant, Lehigh University Centennial School, 1/70-3/77
  • Psychiatrist, Muhlenberg Medical Center Psychiatric Clinic, 6/71-6/86
  • Medical Director, Haven House (partial hospitalization program), 8/76-6/87
  • Consultant, Allentown Police Department (evaluation of police candidates), 8/80-3/85
  • Medical Director, NewVitae Partial Hospitalization Program, 8/90-3/91

Memberships and Appointments (Medical)

  • Chairman, Quackery Committee, Lehigh County Medical Society, 10/69-12/80
  • Chairman, Board of Directors, Quackwatch, Inc. (originally called Lehigh Valley Committee Against Health Fraud, Inc.), 6/70-7/08
  • Member, Board of Trustees, Lehigh Valley Opportunity Center (half-way house for paroled offenders), 7/70-5/72
  • Member, Committee on Health Fraud, Pennsylvania Health Council, 7/72-12/74
  • Member, Committee on Quackery, Pennsylvania Medical Society, 12/73-12/79
  • Member, Board of Advisors, California Council Against Health Fraud, Inc, 12/77-8/84
  • Member, Board of Scientific Advisors, American Council on Science and Health, 4/78-
  • Consultant on Unproven Health Practices, Pennsylvania Medical Society Council on Education and Science, 12/79-12/84
  • Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI)—(originally called Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP)
  • Member, Advisory Board, Children’s Health Care Is A Legal Duty (CHILD), 2/83-12/16
  • National Council Against Health Fraud, Inc. (NCAHF),
    • Member, Board of Directors, 9/84-8/11
    • Vice President, 9/00-8/11
    • Director of Internet Operations, 9/00-4/07
  • Treasurer, Nutrition Council of Pennsylvania, 1/85-6/87
  • Member, Steering Committee, Citizens for Children’s Dental Health (Allentown), 2/98-6/00
  • Member, NIH Special Emphasis Panel (to evaluate alternative medicine research proposals), 3/98-4/98
  • Member, ad hoc advisory group, NIH Office of Dietary Supplements, 10/98-12/00
  • Member, Advisory Board, National Center for Fluoridation Policy and Research, 10/98-12/05
  • Member, Advisory Board, Association for Science in Autism Treatment, 11/99-
  • Member, Council for Scientific Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry, 6/00-5/03
  • Fellow, Council for Scientific Medicine and Mental Health, 5/03-
  • Advisory Board Member, Center for Inquiry Office of Public Policy. 7/06-
  • Vice President, Institute for Science in Medicine, 10/09-3/14
  • University of North Carolina Medicine Clinic Advisory Panel, 2/10-01/11
  • Member, board of directors, Prescription Justice, 9/15-

Memberships and Appointments (Journalistic)

  • Medical Consultant, WFMZ-TV, Allentown, 5/79-6/89
  • Member, Medical Advisory Board, National Health (a consumer newspaper), 9/79-1/80
  • Medical Editor, George F. Stickley Co., Philadelphia, 8/80-12/88
  • Consumer Health Editor, Nautilus Magazine, 7/81-6/84
  • Consulting Editor, ACSH News and Views, 10/81-6/88
  • Health Editor, Our Age (newspaper of the National Alliance of Senior Citizens), 5/82-6/83
  • Contributing Editor, Environmental Nutrition Newsletter, 9/82-3/84
  • Editorial Advisor, Shape Magazine, 9/82-4/94
  • Science and Health Editor, Inside Radio, 10/82-8/83
  • Editor, Nutrition Forum Newsletter, 1/84-12/93
  • Editorial Consultant, Nutrition Forum, 1/94-9/00
  • Member, Editorial Advisory Board, Rx Being Well, 5/84-10/87
  • Consumer Affairs Editor, Healthline Newsletter, 3/85-9/00
  • Editorial Consultant, Prevention Magazine, 3/86-1/93
  • Editorial Advisory Board, Healthy Weight Journal, 6/87-12/03
  • Member, Society of Professional Journalists, 6/87-3/89
  • Member, National Association of Science Writers, 11/87-12/97
  • Member, Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc, 2/89-12/98
  • Medical Editor, Prometheus Books, 2/91-12/98
  • Editorial Advisory Board, The Diet Busine$$ Bulletin, 5/92-7/94
  • Contributing Editor, The Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine, 6/97-12/07
  • Member, Editorial Board, Science & Pseudoscience Review in Mental Health, 2/00-12/02
  • Editor, Consumer Health Digest, 11/00-12/17; Consulting Editor, 1/18-
  • North American Co-Editor, Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies, 8/12-12/16

Memberships and Appointments (Internet-Related)

  • Member, Internet Healthcare Coalition, 10/97-12/99
  • Member, Editorial Board, Medical Web Search, 6/98-12/00
  • Member, Editorial Board, MedScape/MedGenMed, 5/99-2/05
  • Member, Editorial Board, MD net guide, 8/99-3/02
  • Participant member, Fraud Defense Network, 11/99-11/01
  • Member, Editorial Board, Family Medicine net guide, 2/00-5/02
  • Member CBS HealthWatch Physicians Network, 3/00-12/02
  • Weekly columnist (“Alternative Medicine: A Skeptical Look”), Canoe 4/00-5/02
  • Consumer Empowerment Advisor, PlanetFeedback, 4/00-3/01
  • Advisory Board, Pyramid Scheme Alert, 10/00-
  • Member, The Network for Public Health Law, 5/03-

Memberships and Appointments (Academic)

  • Instructor in Health Education, The Pennsylvania State University, 5/87-6/89
  • Instructor, Duke University Osher Lifelong Learning Institute program, 9/09-10/09

Journal Peer Review (Panelist, Editorial Consultant, or Occasional Manuscript Reviewer)

Honors and Awards (Academic, Professional, and Public Service)

  • Pulitzer Scholar, Columbia University, 1950-54
  • Freshman Chemistry Prize, Columbia College, 1951
  • Mediquiz Contest National Award (Resident Physician magazine), 1960
  • Lehigh Valley Dental Society’s Dr. Francis J. Trembley Outstanding Citizen Award for “decisive contributions dedicated to the betterment of oral medicine,” 1975
  • FDA Commissioner’s Special Citation for “outstanding and consistent contributions against the proliferation of nutrition quackery to the American consumer,” 1984
  • Honorary Lifetime Membership Award, Lehigh Valley Dietetic Association, 1986
  • Honorary Member Award, American Dietetic Association, 1986
  • Fellow, Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI), 1992-
  • Annals of Internal Medicine: Editors’ commendation (“top 10%”) for quality and timeliness of reviews in 1999
  • Distinguished Service to Health Education Award “in recognition of outstanding contributions to the health and well-being of mankind through health education.” American Association for Health Education, 2001
  • Listed in Marquis Who’s Who in the East since 1993
  • Listed in Marquis Who’s Who in America since 2001
  • Listed in Marquis Who’s Who in Science and Engineering since 2001
  • Listed in Marquis Who’s Who in the World since 2002
  • Listed in Marquis Who’s Who in Medicine and Health Care since 2002
  • Listed in Marquis Who’s Who in American Education since 2006

Honors and Awards (Quackwatch)

  • Journal of the American Medical Association: One of nine “select sites that provide reliable health information and resources,” 1998
  • U.S. News & World Reports: Best of the Web (one of three medical sites), 1999
  • Oncolink Editor’s Choice, 1999
  • Britannica Internet Guide Award, 2000
  • Forbes “Best of the Web,” 2000 through 2010
  • “Nettie” Award for best Web site operated by an individual physician in 2002. MD net guide, 2003.
  • Other Honors and Awards

Books, Co-authored

  • The Health Robbers: How To Protect Your Money And Your Life (George F. Stickley Co., 1976)
  • Consumer Health: A Guide to Intelligent Decisions, 2nd Edition (C.V. Mosby Co., 1980)
  • The Health Robbers, 2nd edition (Stickley, 1980)
  • The Tooth Robbers: A Pro-Fluoridation Handbook (Stickley, 1981)
  • Vitamins and “Health” Foods: The Great American Hustle (Stickley, 1981)
  • Shopping for Health Care. C.V. (Mosby, 1982)
  • Consumer Health, 3rd Edition (Times Mirror/Mosby, 1985)
  • Consumer Health, 4th Edition (Times Mirror/Mosby, 1989)
  • Health Schemes, Scams, and Frauds. (Consumer Reports Books., 1990)
  • Your Guide to Good Nutrition (Prometheus, 1991)
  • Consumer Health, 5th Edition (Mosby­Year Book, 1993)
  • Reader’s Guide to “Alternative” Health Methods (American Medical Association, 1993)
  • The Health Robbers: A Close Look at Quackery in America (Prometheus, 1993)
  • The Vitamin Pushers: How the “Health Food” Industry Is Selling America a Bill of Goods (Prometheus, 1994)
  • Consumer Health, 6th Edition. (Brown & Benchmark. 1997)
  • Chemical Sensitivity: The Truth about Environmental Illness (Prometheus, 1998)
  • Consumer Health, 7th Edition (McGraw-Hill, 1998)
  • Consumer Health, 8th Edition (McGraw-Hill, 2006)
  • Consumer Health, 9th Edition (McGraw-Hill, 2012)
  • Homeopathy: The Ups and Downs of a Medical Heresy (Kindle Publishing, 2020)

Books, Edited or Co-edited

  • Dear Dr. Stare: What Should I Eat?, by Fredrick J. Stare, MD., and Virginia Aronson, RD (Stickley, 1982)
  • Your Guide to Urology, by Charles D. Saunders, MD. (Stickley, 1982)
  • Your Guide to Mental Help, by John P. Callan, MD (Stickley, (1982)
  • Your Guide to Physical Fitness, by Ellington Darden, PhD (Stickley, 1982)
  • Life After 50: Your Guide to Health and Happiness, by Joseph D. Alter, MD (Stickley, 1982)
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Help or Harm?, by Charles W. Marshall, PhD (Stickley, 1983)
  • Inside Psychotherapy-The Patient’s Handbook, by Ronald W. Pies, MD (Stickley, 1983)
  • Your Basic Guide to Nutrition, by Fredrick J. Stare, MD., and Virginia Aronson, RD (Stickley, 1983)
  • Your Guide to Foot Care, by Marvin Sandler, DPM (Stickley, 1984)
  • Women Under the Knife: A Gynecologist’s Report on Hazardous Medicine, by Herbert H. Keyser, MD (Stickley, 1984)
  • A Smoking Gun: How the Tobacco Companies Get Away with Murder, by Elizabeth M. Whelan, ScD., MPH (Stickley, 1984)
  • Your Guide to Heart Care, by Albert G. Goldin, MD (Stickley, 1984)
  • Your Guide to Ear, Nose and Throat Problems, by Michael Morelock, MD (Stickley, 1985)
  • The Smoke-Free Workplace, by William Weis, PhD, and Bruce Miller (Prometheus Books, 1985)
  • Nutrition 90/91, with Charlotte C. Cook-Fuller, PhD. Dushkin Publishing Group, 1990)
  • Dubious Cancer Treatment. (American Cancer Society, Florida Division, 1991)
  • Nutrition 91/92, with Charlotte C. Cook-Fuller, PhD (Dushkin, 1991)
  • Nutrition 92/93, with Charlotte C. Cook-Fuller, PhD (Dushkin, 1992)
  • A Consumer’s Guide to “Alternative Medicine,” by Kurt Butler (Prometheus, 1992)
  • Panic in the Pantry, by Elizabeth M. Whelan, ScD, MPH, and Fredrick J. Stare, MD, PhD (Prometheus, 1992)
  • Mystical Diets, by Jack Raso, MS, RD (Prometheus, 1993)
  • Nutrition 94/95, with Charlotte C. Cook-Fuller, PhD (Dushkin Publishing Group (1994)
  • “Alternative” Healthcare, by Jack Raso, MS, RD (Prometheus, 1994)
  • Nutrition 95/96, with Charlotte C. Cook-Fuller, PhD (Dushkin, 1995)
  • Chiropractic: The Victim’s Perspective, by George J. Magner, III (Prometheus, 1995)
  • Nutrition 96/97, with Charlotte C. Cook-Fuller, PhD (Brown & Benchmark, 1996)
  • Nutrition 97/98, with Charlotte C. Cook-Fuller, PhD (Brown & Benchmark, 1997)
  • Nutrition 98/99, with Charlotte C. Cook-Fuller, PhD (McGraw-Hill, 1998)
  • Nutrition 99/00, with Charlotte C. Cook-Fuller, PhD (McGraw-Hill, 1999)
  • Inside Chiropractic: A Patient’s Guide, by Samuel Homola, DC (Prometheus, 1999)
  • Nutrition 00/01 with Charlotte C. Cook-Fuller, PhD (McGraw-Hill, 2000)
  • Chiropractic: The Greatest Hoax of the Century?, 2nd Edition, by Ludmil A. Chotkowski, MD (New England Novelty Books, 2001)
  • Chiropractice Abuse: An Insider’s Lament, by Preston Long, DC., PhD (2013)

Athletic Achievements (Swimming)

  • Columbia University: Freshman team, 1950-51; varsity, 1951-53
  • Allentown JCC “Channel Swim”: winner and age-group recordholder, 1959
  • North Carolina Senior Games (state championships)
    • 2008: Two gold medals, one bronze
    • 2009: Four silver medals, one bronze
    • 2010: Two gold medals, three silver
    • 2011: Two gold medals, one silver, three bronze
    • 2012: Three silver medals, three bronze
    • 2013: Three gold medals, one silver, 2 bronze
    • 2014: Five gold medals, one silver
    • 2016: Five gold medals, one silver
    • 2017: Three gold medals, two silver
    • 2018: Six gold medals; set state records in four events
    • 2019: Three gold medals; set state record in 200-yard IM
  • North Carolina Short Course State Championships (U.S. Masters Swimming)
    • 2009: Won five events, second in two
    • 2010: Won two events, second in three, third in one
    • 2013: Won three events, second in three
    • 2017: Won eight events
    • 2018: Won four events
    • 2019: Won six events
  • North Carolina Fall Brawl (U.S. Masters Swimming)
    • 2009: Won three events, second in one
    • 2010: Won four events
    • 2011: Won five events
    • 2012: Won two events, second in one
    • 2013: Won three events
  • Frank Clark Masters Open (U.S. Masters Swimming)
    • 2013: Won four events, second in one
    • 2014: Won three events, second in one
    • 2017: Won five events
    • 2018: Won three events
    • 2019: Won three events, setting the NC state record for the 200-yard individual medley
  • North Carolina Long Course Meters State Championship (U.S. Masters Swimming)
    • 2013: Won three events, second in two. Set NC state records for 100- and 200-meter long-course breaststroke swims, both of which also earned 2013 USMS Top Ten awards.
    • 2019: Won five events, setting state records in all of them.
  • Eastern North Carolina Long Course Splash (U.S. Masters Swimming)
    • 2014: Won five events
  • Short Course National Championships (U.S. Masters Swimming)
    • 2012: Two gold medals and one bronze in relay events; seventh place in two individual events. All three relay times set NC state records. The men’s 200-yard freestyle and 200-yard medley relay results also earned USMS Relay All-American Awards for the best age 75-79 times in the U.S. in 2012.
    • 2016: Six medals (one 4th place, two fifth place, two sixth place, and one eighth place)
    • 2019: Three gold and two silver medals
  • National Senior Games
    • 2013: Three silver medals and two ribbons (4th and 7th place in other events)
    • 2019: Two bronze medals and four ribbons (4th in two events, 5th in two events)
  • Huntsman World Senior Games
    • 2013: One gold (50-meter butterfly), one silver (100-meter breaststroke), and 5 bronze medals.
    • 2018: Three gold, three silver, and one bronze
  • FINA World Masters Championships, Montreal
    • 2014: Won medals for 50-meter butterfly (5th place) and 100-meter freestyle (9th place)
  • U.S. Masters Swimming Summer National Championships
    • 2014: Seven medals: Gold in 50-meter and 100-meter breaststroke; silver in 200-meter breaststroke; bronze in 50-meter butterfly and 100-meter freestyle; 4th place in 50-meter backstroke; and 9th place in 200-meter men’s medley relay.
  • USA Masters National Championship
    • 2016: Won seven gold (four individual events, theee relays), three silver, and one bronze medals
  • Short Course Masters Eastern Invitational (U.S. Masters Swimming)
    • 2016: Won three events. Set North Carolina state record in 200-yard individual medley.
    • 2017: Won two events
    • 2018: Won 5 events, setting NC state records in the 100 freestyle and 100 individual medley.
    • 2019: Won six events
  • Coastal Masters Invitational (U.S. Masters Swimming)
    • 2017: Won eight events
    • 2018: Won three events
    • 2019: Won six events
  • Sunbelt Short Course Yards (U.S. Masters Swimming)
    • 2019: Won three events
    • 2020: Won three events

Training Programs (Swimming)

  • American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor, 1952; recertified 1958
  • Certified USMS Coach, Levels I and II, 2012
  • Certified instructor, USMS Adult Learn-to-Swim Program, 2016

Other Activities and Achievements

  • Eagle Scout, 1949; Order of the Arrow
    Brotherhood Honor, 1951
  • Certified first aid instructor, American Red Cross 1952
  • American Contract Bridge League: Life Master, 1959; Bronze Life Master, 2011; Silver Life Master, 2018
  • Captain, United States Air Force: Active duty, 1961-1963

This page was revised on February 8, 2020.