Show cover of Sawbones: A Marital Tour of Misguided Medicine

Sawbones: A Marital Tour of Misguided Medicine

Join Dr. Sydnee McElroy and her husband Justin McElroy for a tour of all the dumb, bad, gross, weird and wrong ways we've tried to fix people.


Sawbones: Tampons
You may have heard that a new study showed tampons contain traces of metals. Dr. Sydnee and Justin go through the history of tampons, why they might contain metal, and what we still need to find out about the possible effects of using them.Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers
48:00 7/16/24
Sawbones: Human Tricks
Can you touch your tongue with your nose or wiggle your ears? Dr. Sydnee and Justin talk about the science and studies behind weird little tricks some bodies can do, or "stupid human tricks." Can you flare your nostrils? Take our poll: Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers
41:05 7/9/24
Sawbones: A Couple of Boob Questions
Sawbones listeners just have so many strange medical questions! Questions like: Why do I sneeze at dark chocolate? Does Diet Coke actually relieve nausea? Why does saliva get thicker while exercising? And you know that TikTok with the cinnamon rolls and the yeast infection. . . is that . . .real? Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers
47:22 7/2/24
Sawbones Classic: Chocolate
To coincide with the opening of Justin and Sydnee's stage production, we bring to you a classic episode about the medicinal history of chocolate! This week on Sawbones, Dr. Sydnee and Justin take a sunrise and sprinkle it with dew. Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers
34:16 6/18/24
Sawbones: Willy Wonka
There are different versions of Willy Wonka's chocolate factory exploits, but all of them involve strange things happening to children who misbehave. But from a biological standpoint, what does that look like? Dr. Sydnee and Justin discuss the strange science going on at Wonka's factory and whether gum could possibly contain enough juice to turn someone into a blueberry. Note: Willy Wonka is the creation of Roald Dahl, not a good person. More information about his antisemitism available here: Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers
35:00 6/11/24
Sawbones: Do You Know How Italian I Am?
Hot time, summer in the city, time for listener Sawbones questions! Questions like: Why is blood sticky? Why does skin itch when it grows back? Might my twin reject my organs? And should I bring my own speculum to an exam? Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers
42:33 6/4/24
Sawbones: Hydrogen Water
Dr. Sydnee has ruined her TikTok algorithm for the listeners once again and came across something called "Hydrogen Water." Similar to alkaline water, hydrogen water goes through an ionization process that leaves it with excess hydrogen molecules. But . . . is it better than regular water? Probably not. Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers
39:08 5/21/24
Sawbones: Plexus
In a collaboration of medical fads and brands, Dr. Sydnee and Justin dive into the confusing MLM called Plexus. The company started as a seller of the Breast Chek [sic] Kit but has since branched out into wellness and weight management products that it encourages its Ambassadors to recruit others to sell. Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers
44:43 5/7/24
Sawbones: Vampire Facials
You may have seen some celebrities or influencers on social media getting something called a Vampire Facial. It's exactly what it sounds like: blood spread on the face like a cream mask. But why would anyone do this unless it's supposed to do something for the skin? Dr. Sydnee and Justin draw out where this trend came from and its questionable benefits.Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers
38:59 4/30/24
Sawbones: CPR
Squishing someone’s heart and blowing air into them to bring them back to life seems so basic, so why weren’t we able to agree on it for the past few hundred years? This week on Sawbones, Dr. Sydnee gives an overview of the evolution of CPR which, despite what movies and TV would have you believe, isn’t quite an infinite cheat code for avoiding death.Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers
41:58 4/23/24
Sawbones: Lazarus Syndrome
What if someone was declared dead . . . only for their heart to start beating again? This is a phenomenon sometimes called "Lazarus Syndrome" or "auto resuscitation after failed pulmonary resuscitation". Dr. Sydnee and Justin discuss the outline of exactly what needs to occur, some possible reasons this might happen, and a few wild examples. Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers
39:41 4/16/24
Sawbones: Sea Moss
Another day, another fad superfood on social media! Sea moss, or carrageenan or Irish moss, has historically been used for ulcers and sore throats, but does it actually have any proven medical use? Well, no, but it’s probably a good vegan substitute for gelatin. Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers
40:36 4/9/24
Sawbones: Interpreting Research
With so much medical research out there on internet, how can you sort through what's based in science and what's just three people in a room? Dr. Sydnee discusses the all the different factors to think about when deciding how much weight to give any article or study. There's a lot! Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers
41:49 4/4/24
Sawbones: Gamer Pills
If you want to Get Good at video games quickly, are there any magic pills you can take? Well, there are people trying to sell them to you. Justin and Dr. Sydnee look at some supplements that claim to give gamers better focus and more energy, none of which are doctor-approved. Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers
51:13 3/28/24
Sawbones: Can You Lick the Capsaicin Patch?
Dr. Sydnee and Justin are welcoming in the spring and allergy season with listeners' strangest medical questions! Why do some people get goosebumps when they do alcohol shots? Does baking soda work for bug bites? Do people with facial hair get more sick? And for real, how long can you REALLY actually look at an eclipse before it's unsafe? Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers
52:07 3/19/24
Sawbones: Bad Bugs
There are many ways people get sick, but sometimes diseases are carried to people by insects. Dr. Sydnee and Justin talk about the top ten "bad bugs" including mosquitoes, ticks, assassin bugs, and some beetles that are big and bad. Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers
43:03 3/12/24
Sawbones: IVF
Started in the 1930s by scientist Dr. Miriam Menkin, in vitro fertilization is a medical procedure to help with fertility that took until the 1970s to have results in humans. With some drastic misunderstandings going on in the news, Dr. Sydnee and Justin go through the long history of in vitro fertilization and its importance in fertility and contraception today.Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers
49:00 3/5/24
Sawbones: Knock Knock Hi
Justin and Dr. Sydnee are joined by parallel-universe versions of themselves, The Glaucomfleckens! The two doctor-spouse duos talk about Will and Kristen Flanary's journey into podcasting, including serious medical scares, balancing work and kids, and social media. KNOCK KNOCK HI: Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers
50:26 2/27/24
Sawbones: Tongue Ties
A tongue tie is not just a turn of phrase, it's a medical condition in which the frenulum under your tongue is too thick and restricts your lingual movement. For a long time, a procedure to cut it has been done as a solution to some breastfeeding woes. But should it be? Dr. Sydnee and Justin talk about the history of this procedure and the medical field's view on it today. Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers
51:45 2/13/24
Sawbones: Aquatofana
Normally Sawbones talks about medical cures, whether real or fake, but today Dr. Sydnee and Justin are diving into the opposite. There was a time when women in bad marriages and needed a way out could turn to Julia Tofana who offered a secret, untraceable poison and, maybe, a chance at freedom. Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers
37:30 2/6/24
Sawbones: Gallstones
Do you even know where your gallbladder is? Maybe it's not so surprising that millions of Americans don't know they have a gastrointestinal disorder caused by gallstones. Dr. Sydnee and Justin go through the history of gallbladder disease, and why the icky medical mnemonic of "forty, fat, and fertile" is misleading and maybe even harmful.Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers
42:39 1/30/24
Sawbones: Dr. Scholl's
In a continuation from last week, Dr. Sydnee and Justin are focusing on a particular Doctor Brand: Dr Scholl's. Who was Dr. Scholl, what was his medical training, and why was he so interested in fixing feet? Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers
40:18 1/23/24
Sawbones: Doctor Brands
A lot of brands name themselves "doctor" – but how many of them are named after actual medical doctors? Justin takes the wheel with a little quiz for Dr. Sydnee and the listeners on Dr. Pepper, Doc Martens, Dr. Teal, and more. Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers
42:05 1/16/24
Sawbones: Home Alone 2
What would really happen to someone stuck in all of Kevin McCallister's traps? Dr. Sydnee and Justin return to discuss the even more outrageous and even more dangerous injuries the Sticky Bandits sustain in Home Alone 2.Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers
50:00 12/19/23
Sawbones: Why Don’t Americans get De-Wormed?
Shrug off that winter chill with a warm bowl of listener-submitted medical questions. Questions like: Am I giving away my immunity with a blood donation? Can antibiotics make colds worse? Can you cough while sleeping? Are we really new people every seven years? And is there any real health benefit to shaving my armpits?Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers
41:36 12/12/23
Sawbones: Pepto Bismol
Many of us know all the catchy jingle that lists all the things that Pepto Bismol is supposed to be good for. However, that ubiquitous pink medicine is maybe not so ubiquitous everywhere. How did this chalky liquid become so necessary for curing Americans' stomach woes – and does it actually do anything? Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers
41:00 12/5/23
Sawbones Classic: Santa is Sick
To get you through that holiday slog, we're re-releasing our classic holiday episode all about the ailments Santa could possibly have.It's Candlenights 2016, and that can only mean one thing: Dr. Sydnee is trying to ruin Christmas again. Join her as she explains to poor, pitiful Justin all of Santa's terrible health risks, recorded live in Huntington, WV. Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers
31:28 11/28/23
Sawbones: Dr. Willard Bliss
It was probably the destiny of Dr. Doctor Willard Bliss to become a medical professional, although his career was a real rollercoaster of beliefs and practices. But he obtained the most notoriety for bringing his questionable treatments to one of the most important people in the United States – President James Garfield.Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers
38:49 11/21/23
Sawbones: The Ejaculation Panic
In the 1800s, there was a growing concern about spermatorrhea, a condition that involves involuntary and excessive semen leakage or discharge. Some doctors (and people who claimed to be doctors) were quick to come up with some truly terrifying solutions . . . except that it was largely a panic and not really happening at all. Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers
34:18 11/7/23
Sawbones: The Intimate Side of a Woman’s Life
What was some of the outdated (though subtly subversive) medical advice given to cisgendered women of the 1930s? Dr. Sydnee and Justin aim to answer that with The Intimate Side of a Woman’s Life by Leona W. Chalmers, with all sorts of tips about douching, period cramps, and sex energy. Thanks to Olivia for sending in the book! Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers
37:39 10/31/23

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