Saturday, December 20, 2014

Medical Advice

I just read an online article, "Here's What Experts Say about the Advice on Dr. Oz and The Doctors," which states what should be obvious to all of us:

A lot of this advice is pure garbage.

From the article:
"Reporting in the BMJ, Canadian researchers analyzed two medical TV talk shows—The Dr. Oz Show and The Doctors—and found that only 46% of the recommendations on The Dr. Oz Show and 63% on The Doctors were supported by evidence. 15% of advice given on Oz and 14% of advice on The Doctors contradicted the available published evidence in journals."
Dr. Oz's excuse, given to a Senate subcommittee hearing in June 2014 was, according to the article:

“I do personally believe in the items that I talk about on the show. We have to simplify complicated information. We have to make the material seem interesting and focus on the ‘wow’ factor.”

And that probably sums it up really well. "...the 'wow' factor." Because it's TV, it's entertainment, it's not real medicine.

But I think another problem here, the reason people are watching these shows, is that people are reluctant to talk to their own real-life doctors about problems that are embarrassing.

Another problem might be that they don't trust their own doctors to take the time to really listen and understand their concerns. I mean, we've all been to a doctor who barely listened to what we said, haven't we? Who grabbed our chart from the plastic chart-holder outside the room and walked in reading it for the first time, glanced at us, and started probing us without even washing his hands first? Who made us wait more than half an hour and then could hardly wait to get to his next patient?

(I'm using male pronouns here because most of the doctors I've encountered who acted this way were males, not because female doctors don't do it!)

But here's another thing: Is the advice we might receive from our own doctors any better than the tidbits from the TV shows?

Haven't you been seen by a doctor who gave recommendations that were not supported by evidence? I have. (And, yes, it was a male doctor.)

What's a person to do? I'm still thinking about this. Any suggestions?

Friday, December 19, 2014

Madame L and the Third Person Pompous

Dear Readers,

Madame L is as of now swearing off her use of the persona who writes pompously in the third person (as she is doing now).

So, okay, here goes. I'm still the same person; I'm still calling myself, while writing this blog, Madame L; but I'm going to write just plain old English from now, instead of what I have decided to call the "third person pompous."

I'm going to be writing about news in science and medicine, arts and culture, environmental issues, and whatever else comes to mind; and I think these issues deserve better than the semi-humorous way I was writing before.

The first thing I want to mention is that after not writing on this blog for a few months, coming back to it today was an eye-opening experience as I had pages and pages and PAGES of "Anonymous" comments to scroll through. And I mean, really, I just scrolled through them, after quickly dividing them into a few types:

---Scams hoping to get me to click on some link that would crash my computer;

---Scams hoping to get me to click on some link that would bring me to a site with images I would never want to see and then crash my computer; and

---Scams hoping to get me to click on some link that would bring me to a site where I might think I was purchasing some drug, for instance a virility-enhancing drug, which I could not obtain legally, and then crash my computer.

But, wow, was I ever flattered by the scammers who wanted me to believe they had never seen a blog as amazingly intelligent and insightful and well designed as mine, and to believe that all they needed and desired most in life was for me to offer to help them with their site, which would ... then crash my computer.

Sarcasm? Oh you bet! And the old Madame L would surely approve!

Thanks for reading (and commenting, not anonymously),

Madame L