Well, here goes.
After 6 months of silence, I'm going to try to re-animate this thing.
Why did I stop?
Life, mostly, which got in the way.
And, well, in some ways, I felt as though I had told my story.
At this point it seemed that I would just begin repeating myself: Vaccines, Medical Scams, Ravinia, Blah, Blah Blah…
I just finished watching the series "Deadwood", about a mining camp in what was to be South Dakota someday.
Within the story there is a character known primarily as "The Doc".
Somehow, I felt a connection with him.
But first, a little background.
When my colleagues and I were in the first few years of medical school, we would often discuss where we might wish to practice.
I remember often saying that maybe the best place would be some small town in the middle of nowhere.
My idea was that when a crisis struck the town, and they held a meeting of the townspeople to discuss the issue, and things inevitably began to get out of hand, I'd stand up and say, "Well, here's how I see it..."
At that point, a everyone's eyes would turn to me and people would start shushing each other and yelling, "Quiet, let the Doc talk!"
Whereupon I would come up with a solution to their dilemma.
Needless to say, that's not quite what happened.
Although I will confess to feeling the urge to comment when there is a crisis, but, it seems it's met with more rolling of eyes than wide eyed wonder.
But I digress.
What struck me about the physician in the show, practicing in the late 1800's is how often he couldn't do squat shit except give someone opium.
Yet, the people still respected him for whatever it was he could do.
And, when the town held a meeting to discuss a crisis, they always demanded he be there.
I suspect much of that was due to how many people couldn't even read and so he would have been the most educated (not necessarily the smartest) person they had.
Today, we are a strange society.
Rich people are going to jail, in their attempt to get their stupid kids into a prestigious school, yet I often feel as though the term "educated" holds no meaning anymore.
I've been amazed over the years how many patients or their families would discuss a disease or treatment with me stating that they had educated themselves on the internet.
I often wondered how it was that medicine was the only profession, where reading a few pages on a questionable site made you an expert.
No one says, "Sure, I'll build that suspension bridge across the river. I read about it on the internet."
Or, "I'll try that international bank fraud case, because I read all about one that happened 20 years ago."
Yet, they have no qualms saying, "That treatment won't work, because their acid-base balance is the real cause of the problem." Even though I'm quite sure they don't really know what an acid or a base is and how the body regulates it.
The strangest part of all of this, is this Doc really had very few tools at his disposal, whereas now we literally have treatments that would have ranked among the greatest miracles of all time just 50 years ago.
I envied that Doc, even when he began to suffer burn out. Ironically, the same problem faced by many physicians today.
I believe this highlights to a large degree what afflicts our society today.
We no longer respect traditional education.
All information, from whatever source is deemed equivalent in value.
Everyone's opinion holds the same weight as any fact.
And, maybe, in some small way, I'm trying to be that "Doc", who stands up and says, "Well, here's how I see it..." and hopes that someone, anyone, will be willing to listen to me.
So, remember, when someone tells you they know how to perform complex genetic manipulation, because they "read about it on the internet".
For God's sake-STAY SKEPTICAL!
Please comment, like and share!
And I'll see if I can manage to spit out another one in less than a 6 month window.
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Filed under: Health Care