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Posted: 15 March 2013 03:57 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I’m so annoyed with irrational people at the moment!!  hmmm People whom I know personally… And then I ‘discover’ they have some bizarre notion about reality.

For example: Today I shared this: http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2013/03/15/vaccines_and_autism_antivaccination_group_advertising_on_billboards.html on Facebook.

I discovered (yet another) friend who thinks vaccines ‘are dangerous’. downer  Another friend asked this person why they thought they were dangerous. To paraphrase: ‘google children dying from <vaccine>, search Mercola.com’ AAAAAUUUUGGGGHHHHH!!! (I now completely understand how Charlie Brown feels about Lucy!)

<bangs head on desk for a bit>

There I feel better.

It’s so frustrating to have to be polite when they are just WRONG! cool smirk

Okay, I’m better now. Thanks for letting me vent.

So, I see this in part as what I’ll call the ‘patient empowerment movement’ gone bad. My (overly simple) story goes like this…

For decades people ‘blindly’ followed the advice of their physicians. They didn’t question the doctor for the doctor ‘knew all’. But sometimes, things didn’t go like the doctor said. So over time folks decided they should ask their doctor’s more questions. Okay, that’s wise, IMO. ‘Why do you think it might be ‘x’? What types of treatments are effective? Etc.’ Then, it became. ‘Well, I think I’ve got ‘y’, is that it?’ Sadly, today it seems to be: ‘You’re just a doctor. What do you know? I’ve read all about my condition on the inter tubes. So I’ll just treat myself. Who needs that pesky expensive health insurance?’

Why do so many people seem to feel empowered (and even confident!) in being their own expert?

Take care,

Derek

P.S. Not that I’d expect it here, but… Disclaimer: The first person to post pro anti-vaccine nonsense is going to get an atomic wedgie! You’ve been warned. LOL

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Posted: 15 March 2013 05:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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harry canyon - 15 March 2013 03:57 PM

. . . Then, it became. ‘Well, I think I’ve got ‘y’, is that it?’ Sadly, today it seems to be: ‘You’re just a doctor. What do you know? I’ve read all about my condition on the inter tubes. So I’ll just treat myself. Who needs that pesky expensive health insurance?’

Why do so many people seem to feel empowered (and even confident!) in being their own expert?

Take care,

Derek

P.S. Not that I’d expect it here, but… Disclaimer: The first person to post pro anti-vaccine nonsense is going to get an atomic wedgie! You’ve been warned. LOL

You’ve overlooked that many folks have been receiving advanced medical education from Big-Pharma TV ads…  it’s even more effective than staying at a Holiday Inn —-  you skeptic you.   tongue wink

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Posted: 15 March 2013 05:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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seriously though, I find it interesting that people have forgotten so much of history.

Yea, yea, sometime vaccines react poorly and once in a while some folks have really ugly reactions… however when reflecting on life before vaccines… hmmmm

http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/influenza-epidemic/

From the National Archives:

Hard as it is to believe, the answer is true.
World War I claimed an estimated 16 million lives. The influenza epidemic that swept the world in 1918 killed an estimated 50 million people. One fifth of the world’s population was attacked by this deadly virus. Within months, it had killed more people than any other illness in recorded history.
The plague emerged in two phases. In late spring of 1918, the first phase, known as the “three-day fever,” appeared without warning. Few deaths were reported. Victims recovered after a few days. When the disease surfaced again that fall, it was far more severe. Scientists, doctors, and health officials could not identify this disease which was striking so fast and so viciously, eluding treatment and defying control. Some victims died within hours of their first symptoms. Others succumbed after a few days; their lungs filled with fluid and they suffocated to death.
The plague did not discriminate.

http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2027479_2027486_2027527,00.html

The 1916 Polio Epidemic

By Alexandra SilverTuesday, Oct. 26, 2010

CDC / PHIL / CORBIS
Five years before 39-year-old Franklin Delano Roosevelt was diagnosed with polio, the paralyzing disease struck thousands in the U.S., killing some 6,000. During the 1916 epidemic, 9,000 cases occurred in New York City, which called for quarantines. Polio would haunt the country for decades, afflicting thousands each year; TIME wrote in 1946 that “for many a parent who had lived through the nightmare fear of polio, there was some statistical encouragement: in 1916, 25% of polio’s victims died. This year, thanks to early recognition of the disease and improved treatment (iron lungs, physical therapy, etc.) the death rate is down to 5%.” It was only in the 1950s that Dr. Jonas Salk finally developed a vaccine.

NEXT:  The First Cholera Pandemic


Take your pick.

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Posted: 15 March 2013 09:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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harry canyon - 15 March 2013 03:57 PM

I’m so annoyed with irrational people at the moment!!  hmmm People whom I know personally… And then I ‘discover’ they have some bizarre notion about reality.

For example: Today I shared this: http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2013/03/15/vaccines_and_autism_antivaccination_group_advertising_on_billboards.html on Facebook.

I discovered (yet another) friend who thinks vaccines ‘are dangerous’. downer  Another friend asked this person why they thought they were dangerous. To paraphrase: ‘google children dying from <vaccine>, search Mercola.com’ AAAAAUUUUGGGGHHHHH!!! (I now completely understand how Charlie Brown feels about Lucy!)

<bangs head on desk for a bit>

There I feel better.

It’s so frustrating to have to be polite when they are just WRONG! cool smirk

Okay, I’m better now. Thanks for letting me vent.

So, I see this in part as what I’ll call the ‘patient empowerment movement’ gone bad. My (overly simple) story goes like this…

For decades people ‘blindly’ followed the advice of their physicians. They didn’t question the doctor for the doctor ‘knew all’. But sometimes, things didn’t go like the doctor said. So over time folks decided they should ask their doctor’s more questions. Okay, that’s wise, IMO. ‘Why do you think it might be ‘x’? What types of treatments are effective? Etc.’ Then, it became. ‘Well, I think I’ve got ‘y’, is that it?’ Sadly, today it seems to be: ‘You’re just a doctor. What do you know? I’ve read all about my condition on the inter tubes. So I’ll just treat myself. Who needs that pesky expensive health insurance?’

Why do so many people seem to feel empowered (and even confident!) in being their own expert?

Take care,

Derek

P.S. Not that I’d expect it here, but… Disclaimer: The first person to post pro anti-vaccine nonsense is going to get an atomic wedgie! You’ve been warned. LOL

I’ll help hold ‘em down.

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Posted: 15 March 2013 09:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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citizenschallenge.pm - 15 March 2013 05:20 PM

seriously though, I find it interesting that people have forgotten so much of history.

Yea, yea, sometime vaccines react poorly and once in a while some folks have really ugly reactions… however when reflecting on life before vaccines… hmmmm

http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/influenza-epidemic/

From the National Archives:

Hard as it is to believe, the answer is true.
World War I claimed an estimated 16 million lives. The influenza epidemic that swept the world in 1918 killed an estimated 50 million people. One fifth of the world’s population was attacked by this deadly virus. Within months, it had killed more people than any other illness in recorded history.
The plague emerged in two phases. In late spring of 1918, the first phase, known as the “three-day fever,” appeared without warning. Few deaths were reported. Victims recovered after a few days. When the disease surfaced again that fall, it was far more severe. Scientists, doctors, and health officials could not identify this disease which was striking so fast and so viciously, eluding treatment and defying control. Some victims died within hours of their first symptoms. Others succumbed after a few days; their lungs filled with fluid and they suffocated to death.
The plague did not discriminate.

http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,2027479_2027486_2027527,00.html

The 1916 Polio Epidemic

By Alexandra SilverTuesday, Oct. 26, 2010

CDC / PHIL / CORBIS
Five years before 39-year-old Franklin Delano Roosevelt was diagnosed with polio, the paralyzing disease struck thousands in the U.S., killing some 6,000. During the 1916 epidemic, 9,000 cases occurred in New York City, which called for quarantines. Polio would haunt the country for decades, afflicting thousands each year; TIME wrote in 1946 that “for many a parent who had lived through the nightmare fear of polio, there was some statistical encouragement: in 1916, 25% of polio’s victims died. This year, thanks to early recognition of the disease and improved treatment (iron lungs, physical therapy, etc.) the death rate is down to 5%.” It was only in the 1950s that Dr. Jonas Salk finally developed a vaccine.

NEXT:  The First Cholera Pandemic


Take your pick.

Unfortunately few people remember when polio was rampant. It was not a pretty sight I knew two boys in my class who were on crutches for as long as I remember and one, who was very crippled, died before graduating high school.  And there were measles, scarlet fever, whooping cough and mumps, that had complications.  And my parents knew first hand about diptheria and the flu epidemic after WWI, during which many people, many of them quite young, died. Most younger people today have never witnessed an epidemic, which may be why they are so cavalier about vaccinations.

Lois

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Posted: 16 March 2013 03:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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For decades people ‘blindly’ followed the advice of their physicians. They didn’t question the doctor for the doctor ‘knew all’. But sometimes, things didn’t go like the doctor said. So over time folks decided they should ask their doctor’s more questions. Okay, that’s wise, IMO. ‘Why do you think it might be ‘x’? What types of treatments are effective? Etc.’ Then, it became. ‘Well, I think I’ve got ‘y’, is that it?’ Sadly, today it seems to be: ‘You’re just a doctor. What do you know? I’ve read all about my condition on the inter tubes. So I’ll just treat myself. Who needs that pesky expensive health insurance?’


Wow, what a coincidence Derek, I just found Plait’s site and bought one of his books “Bad Astronomy”. As to the above, many people are becoming more educated concerning medical treatment due to the Internet and are asking their personal physician questions that no doctor in the 50’s would have even heard. The problem now is that there is just too much information to sift through and the woo is all over TV (Doc Oz), homeopathy, naturopathy, acupuncture, etc. confusing patients and driving them to try alternative crap. Personally, I still rely on my doctor for any treatment. He’s the trained physician. Medicine isn’t like becoming a backyard mechanic and the medicines out there today are nothing to play with; just listen to all those disclaimers on the boob tube! People who try to doctor themselves have a fool for a patient.


Cap’t Jack

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Posted: 16 March 2013 04:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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A big part of the problem is that you don’t need ANY medical education at all to post medical advice on the internet. That not only goes for random individuals who post on forums or create their own web site or official sounding organizations but also for media outlets that often allow reporters to report on medical issues who don’t even have a science background. There really ought to be some sort of rating system for these information sources so patients can have some method by which to gauge the information they are reading as either sound science ( ie CDC.gov, PubMed, Google Scholar, Mayoclinic.com) or totally woo ( far too many to list here).

Ten years ago I set up my own website to provide my patents with information on some of the current health topics and to help guide them toward more reliable sources of information on the web.  It has helped to some degree but its difficult to keep people away from bad information. One of the biggest reasons is that when it comes to medical care, even more people are open to the conspiracy mentality than for other subjects in my experience. Many people believe their doctors are holding something back and are hungry to see “behind the curtain”. I am constantly amazed how willing people are to believe things they hear from friends who are paraprofessionals ( Secretaries, lab techs, even file clerks) or complete strangers on forums about what goes on in hospitals and doctors offices. The more outlandish the story the more it gets repeated.

Present company excluded of course, forums are probably one of the biggest offenders and worse sources of medical information. There is absolutely no way for patients to assess the quality of information they come across on these forums and I have found that people who have a bad experience are many times more likely to post something than those who have a good experience ( When was the last time we marched on Washington because things were going well?). Try looking up “colonoscopy experience” and see what you come across. I’ve been in practice for 23 years and have had thousands of patients go through this ( including myself twice). I have yet to have a single patient with a complication and while some people complain of the prep before hand, no one ever complains about the procedure itself. Despite this at least half the participants in any forum on this subject will complain of something awful about the procedure ( horrible pain, unprofessional laughing doctors and nurses) or some terrible complication like a perforated colon etc.

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Posted: 16 March 2013 06:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Why do so many people seem to feel empowered (and even confident!) in being their own expert?

The current myth of the “rational individual.”

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Posted: 16 March 2013 06:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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garythehuman - 16 March 2013 06:13 AM

Why do so many people seem to feel empowered (and even confident!) in being their own expert?

The current myth of the “rational individual.”

Overconfidence springs eternal.

I see it just as bad in the skeptic/secular/atheist community as in the world at large. Folks think that because they know a little about [insert specialty here], that they can decide when the experts are wrong/deluded/corrupt.

It’s frankly embarrassing.

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Posted: 16 March 2013 07:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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dougsmith - 16 March 2013 06:49 AM
garythehuman - 16 March 2013 06:13 AM

Why do so many people seem to feel empowered (and even confident!) in being their own expert?

The current myth of the “rational individual.”

Overconfidence springs eternal.

I see it just as bad in the skeptic/secular/atheist community as in the world at large. Folks think that because they know a little about [insert specialty here], that they can decide when the experts are wrong/deluded/corrupt.

It’s frankly embarrassing.

 

A little learning is a dangerous thing;
drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
there shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
and drinking largely sobers us again.

Alexander Pope (1688 - 1744).  An Essay on Criticism, 1709

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Posted: 16 March 2013 08:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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The thing that is really odd is that the average person doesnt feel they are an expert on how to build a bridge and they don’t correct Frank LLoyd Wright on how to design a house, but for some odd reason half a day on the internet makes them an expert on how to practice medicine.

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Posted: 16 March 2013 09:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I don’t know about people trying to tell architects how to build bridges, but I spend a lot of time on a daily basis arguing with my clients and explaining to them that, say, white space is not really a waste of space. Although nobody will die when I sometimes lose the battle and end up making their logo the size of a horse, I find it unbearably frustrating.

[ Edited: 16 March 2013 09:14 AM by George ]
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Posted: 16 March 2013 12:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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macgyver - 16 March 2013 04:29 AM

A big part of the problem is that you don’t need ANY medical education at all to post medical advice on the internet. That not only goes for random individuals who post on forums or create their own web site or official sounding organizations but also for media outlets that often allow reporters to report on medical issues who don’t even have a science background. There really ought to be some sort of rating system for these information sources so patients can have some method by which to gauge the information they are reading as either sound science ( ie CDC.gov, PubMed, Google Scholar, Mayoclinic.com) or totally woo ( far too many to list here).

Is there a medical version of http://www.politifact.com/ that fact-checks medical information dispensed by major media venues?

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Posted: 16 March 2013 01:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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TromboneAndrew - 16 March 2013 12:21 PM

Is there a medical version of http://www.politifact.com/ that fact-checks medical information dispensed by major media venues?

That sounds like a good idea but I am not aware of any such service. The closest thing might be cochrane reviews but its not exactly the same. You can research treatment options there but they don’t address specific media claims.

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Posted: 16 March 2013 04:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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TromboneAndrew - 16 March 2013 12:21 PM
macgyver - 16 March 2013 04:29 AM

A big part of the problem is that you don’t need ANY medical education at all to post medical advice on the internet. That not only goes for random individuals who post on forums or create their own web site or official sounding organizations but also for media outlets that often allow reporters to report on medical issues who don’t even have a science background. There really ought to be some sort of rating system for these information sources so patients can have some method by which to gauge the information they are reading as either sound science ( ie CDC.gov, PubMed, Google Scholar, Mayoclinic.com) or totally woo ( far too many to list here).

Is there a medical version of http://www.politifact.com/ that fact-checks medical information dispensed by major media venues?

There is http://www.quackwatch.com/. Incomplete but useful.  You can also learn a lot from the Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy.  Not the Home Health Guide and not the Veterinary Guide, though both may be useful for some situations.

I’ve been through two editions of the Merck Manual. I always look up any disease or condition I hear about.  It’s full of interesting information.  One minor tidbit I learned from my latest edition: the only mammals that do not get arthritis are bats and sloths, both of which hang upside down,  but I have no idea if that is a factor.  Maybe McGyver knows.

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Posted: 16 March 2013 09:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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You wouldn’t believe the amount of quackery and bad information I receive in my inbox, passed on by well meaning friends and family with usless to downright dangerous information. They usually have a ‘tag’ showing they are from a reputable medical center—for some reason the Mayo Clinic is the one I see used the most. The latest was instructions for what to do if you are alone when you have a heart attack. NOWHERE does the instruction tell you to call 9-1-1, which is the best possible use of your time. Instead, it has has you wasting your time doing precordial thumps, which have been medically disproven almost 30 years ago.

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