Biographical Sketches

Stephen Barrett, M.D.
October 18, 2016


Dr. Barrett

Dr. Homola

Stephen Barrett, MD, a retired psychiatrist who resides near Chapel Hill, North Carolina, has achieved national renown as an author, editor, and consumer advocate. In addition to heading the Quackwatch network, he is vice-president of the Institute for Science in Medicine and a Fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. In 1984, he received an FDA Commissioner’s Special Citation Award for Public Service in fighting nutrition quackery. In 1986, he was awarded honorary membership in the American Dietetic Association. From 1987 through 1989, he taught health education at The Pennsylvania State University. He is listed in Marquis Who’s Who in America and, in 2001, received the Distinguished Service to Health Education Award from the American Association for Health Education.

An expert in medical communications, Dr. Barrett operates 25 Web sites; edits Consumer Health Digest (a weekly electronic newsletter); is medical editor of Prometheus Books; and is a peer-review panelist for several prominent medical journals. His 52 books include The Health Robbers: A Close Look at Quackery in America and eight editions of the college textbook Consumer Health: A Guide to Intelligent Decisions. One book he edited, Vitamins and Minerals: Help or Harm?, by Charles Marshall, Ph.D., won the American Medical Writers Association award for best book of 1983 for the general public and became a special publication of Consumer Reports Books. His other classics include Dubious Cancer Treatment, published by the Florida Division of the American Cancer Society; Health Schemes, Scams, and Frauds, published by Consumer Reports Books; The Vitamin Pushers: How the “Health Food” Industry Is Selling America a Bill of Goods, published by Prometheus Books; and Reader’s Guide to “Alternative” Health Methods, published by the American Medical Association. He has also edited and helped write four books about chiropractic, the latest of which, Chiropractic Abuse: An Insider’s Lament, was published in 2013 by the American Council on Science and Health.

Dr. Barrett has been studying the chiropractic marketplace since 1968. His chiropractic source collection includes more than 200 books, several thousand journals, 200 audio and videotapes, and more than 20,000 miscellaneous documents. He has visited a chiropractor as a patient, attended classes at a chiropractic college, watched students working in the college clinic, attended the 1995 Chiropractic Centennial Celebration, and conversed and/or corresponded with thousands of chiropractors. In 1990, the ACA Journal of Chiropractic published an adaptation of his 1987 speech to the American Chiropractic Association’s House of Delegates.

Samuel Homola, DC, is a second-generation chiropractor who has dedicated himself to defining the proper limits on chiropractic and to educating consumers and professionals about the field. His 1963 book Bonesetting, Chiropractic, and Cultism supported the appropriate use of spinal manipulation but renounced chiropractic dogma. His 1999 book Inside Chiropractic: A Patient’s Guide provides an incisive look at chiropractic’s history, benefits, and shortcomings. Now retired after 43 years of practice, he lives in Panama City, Florida, with his wife, Martha.

This page was revised on October 18, 2016.