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Friday, October 4, 2013

Arrogance in medicine conveys ignorance, says Dr. Altman

I like to show absurdity by being absurd on this blog, although I do not make stuff up.  I simply use things that people say, or write, and I show how absurd they are.  I have actually found physicians who criticize other physicians.

Among them is Dr. Lawrence K. Altman, who wrote in chapter one, "The Public Perception of Asthma," in the book "Fatal Asthma" that the medical community in general tends to be ignorant when it comes to acknowledging the potential factors that may make asthma worse, such as thunderstorms.  In regards to this, he wrote: 
We (physicians) forget how much we don't know.  There is a certain arrogance -- or insecurity-- that inhibits the medical profession's ability to convey its ignorance to the public.
When it is documented evidence that statistics concerning a disease such as asthma are worsening, it behooves us not to be complacent about old beliefs.  We should take a fresh look in the light of new knowledge.  (1, page 6)
He is right.  Physicians should not continue to treat asthma the same way it was treated 20 years ago, especially considering there is better wisdom and better medicine today.  Physicians who fail to realize this do so to the detriment of their patients.

The same is true in other areas of healthcare.

  1.  Altman, Lawrence K., "The Public Perception of Asthma," Chapter one of the book "Fatal Asthma," edited by Albert L. Sheffer, New York, Marcel Dekker, Inc, pages 3 and 11. 
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