Sawbones: A Marital Tour of Misguided Medicine-logo

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.

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.


Huntington, WV


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: Pirate Medicine Chapter Three

In the third and final chapter of the pirate medicine series, Dr. Sydnee and Justin talk about the dreaded Flux. What is the Flux? Well, it involves something coming out of your body in excess . . . and it's not urine. Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers


Sawbones: Pirate Medicine Chapter Two

In the second entry in the pirate medicine series, Dr. Sydnee talks about the practice of treating burns aboard a ship. It seems like burns on a ship would not be a problem, but ships are made of wood, and fire + wood = bad. Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers


Sawbones: Pirate Medicine Chapter One

To celebrate the first new live Sawbones shows since 2020, we're releasing the first in a three-part series exploring the vast array that pirates—in an extremely resource and knowledge-limited setting—tried to keep one another alive through the years. Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers


Sawbones: Does Shrimp Make My Husband Drunk?

Have you ever wanted to ask a real doctor questions that aren’t really advice? Dr. Sydnee answers listener questions about infecting yourself with a virus, refusing opioids, and difficult veins. And don’t worry - there are some poop questions as well. Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers


Sawbones: Anthroposophy

Why not just connect the spiritual and scientific world? That's basically what anthroposophy asks, teaching a philosophical approach to medicine. Dr. Sydnee and Justin talk about the history of this movement and also try to explain what exactly it is. Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers


Sawbones: Iridology

The eyes are the windows to the soul, but could they also be the windows to all the body's ailments? Dr. Sydnee and Justin discuss iridology, the idea that changes in the eye color could possibly indicate different diseases and conditions – and perhaps even personality traits – although there is very little evidence that any of this is scientifically sound. Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers


Sawbones: Dr. Oz

There are many people who have been recurring characters on Sawbones. Pliny the Elder. Charlie. But few so notorious as Dr. Mehmet Oz, now running for the U.S. Senate. This isn’t a commentary on his political fitness; just an examination of his history of questionable medical advice and pop-science claims. CW: Discussion of dieting and weight loss Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers


Sawbones: Schizophrenia

Is schizophrenia the same as having a dissociative identity? Or anti-social disorder? Or being a murderer? No. No. All of these are wrong. Dr. Sydnee breaks down one of the most misunderstood and maligned mental illnesses and how our understanding of symptoms and treatment have changed over the years. Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers


Sawbones: How Justin McElroy Became a Trusted Source for COVID News in Canada

Podcast history is being made here: There are TWO Justin McElroys in this week's episode. We are joined by Justin McElroy, CBC reporter of municipal affairs in Vancouver and British Columbia, as he discusses his role reporting COVID data over the last two and a half years, and the challenges of presenting that information as people seem to be moving on from caring about the pandemic. Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers


Sawbones: E. coli

From our earliest days of life E. coli is among us and within us, living in harmony with the rest of our colonic flora. But this week we're here to discuss the multi-dimensional E. coli's ability to really mess all that up through contaminated romaine and undercooked cheeseburgers. Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers


Sawbones News: Vaccine Updates

Extra, extra! It’s the first edition of the Sawbones Medical News, updates on what’s going on in the world of medicine. We’ve got the newest reports on Monkey Pox vaccines and the hot new COVID-19 booster. Plus, an analysis of Dr. Oz’s interesting medical care advice. Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers


The Sleeping Sickness

Starting In 1915, cases of something known as encephalitis lethargica started popping up around the globe. Symptoms were varied, but included some sort of lethargy or tiredness, with some more extreme manifestations. But exactly how many people were infected and what exactly caused this remains one of medical history’s greatest mysteries. So, yeah, we’re going to leave you hanging on that. Sorry. Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers


Rufus Weaver and Harriet Cole

In the 1880s, anatomist Rufus Weaver worked meticulously to extract and mount the human nervous system for study. The nervous system came from a woman named Harriet Cole; but how was it actually obtained? Dr. Sydnee dissects this medical mystery, which is a telling story of who in history is celebrated and who is often forgotten. Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers



In this episode of Justin McElroy’s Medical Brand Hall of Fame, Justin and Dr. Sydnee are stuck on Band-Aid brand adhesive bandages. Justin goes through the decades of campaigns and jingles, the evolution of bandage technology, and Dr. Dan the Bandage Man to explain how this sticky plaster became a staple for children and clumsy people alike. Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers



Hank Green in 2018 joked that everyone should take Metamucil, the fiber-rich powder that is supposed to help with your BMs. But is he right? Well . . . “should” is a strong word. Dr. Sydnee goes through the history of the supplement itself, made of psyllium, as well as our understanding of fiber and its use in human nutrition. And yeah, you probably aren’t getting enough of it. Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers


The Brompton Cocktail

In the late 1800s, Dr. Herbert Snow observed cancer patients and considered that a mix of different medications might do the trick for slowing down its progress. The Brompton Cocktail, as it was called, was mostly cocaine and morphine. Though used for a long time for pain relief, the cocktail proved to have its problems – but maybe not for the reason you would think. Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers


Hand Sanitizer

Around the early 1900s, it was discovered that a high percent of ethanol was useful for killing germs, and worked great if there was no available soap and water. Dr. Sydnee and Justin go through viral internet stories and odd patents to explain how we eventually landed on the hand sanitizer we know and love today. Hey, if you can, though, wash your hands. Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers


Answering Your Questions About the Roe Verdict

The overturning of Roe has created an astounding number of questions and problems, and the fact is that we don’t know for sure how the landscape will change in the next few years or even months. This week, Dr. Sydnee uses the best available information to answer listener questions about what the Roe decision means for those seeking medical care related to pregnancy, including the morning after pill, vasectomies as contraception, and ectopic pregnancies. Addendum: There is a prescription...


Radium Girls

Back in 1917 radium was all the rage. The fact that it glowed made people believe it was healthy and important, so they included it in things like toothpaste, cosmetics, even water. The Radium Girls, factory workers who used radium-laced paints to detail watch faces, were among the first to indicate that it may not be as safe as we imagined. Charlie McElroy is here to tell us about their fight for workplace safety. Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers



What’s the deal with vomiting? Justin and Dr. Sydnee meditate on the various ways we get nauseated, from smelling something gross to getting hit in a sensitive spot, and what we’ve done over the years to help alleviate it. Although sometimes kids just vomit for no reason and we can’t really help you there. Music: "Medicines" by The Taxpayers