Dr. Toby Cosgrove speaks out about Cleveland Clinic physician's antivaccine column

The anti-vaccine views expressed by Daniel Neides, MD, medical director and COO of the Cleveland Clinic's Wellness Institute do not align with the health system in any way, CEO Toby Cosgrove, MD, wrote in a statement Friday.

"Vaccinations are a key component to preventing disease and maintaining a healthy society. There is no debating that; the research is clear," Dr. Cosgrove wrote. "To say otherwise is irresponsible and runs counter to Cleveland Clinic's commitment to evidence-based medicine."

Dr. Cosgrove stood by the mission of Cleveland Clinic's Wellness Institute, which aims to help patients make healthy life choices and aid in prevention of disease. Although the institute does use some alternative approaches, such as acupuncture, yoga and Chinese herbal medicine, these are only intended to supplement medical care, Dr. Cosgrove wrote.

While the health system continues to invest in scientific medical research, part of that involves evaluating how traditional approaches to medicine can be complemented with alternative approaches to health. "It's important to understand that wellness interventions and alternative therapies never replace evidence-based medicine," he wrote.

"Cleveland Clinic is the first major academic medical center to embrace many of these alternative strategies," Dr. Cosgrove concluded. "We believe that doing so is justified by the magnitude of the disease challenge."

Read the full statement here.

 

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