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Archive for the ‘medical quotes’ Category

We all know to err is human , but most of us probably won’t agree medical mistakes , (bulk of which happen in the name of practicing state of the art of science ! ) could be the dominant theme in modern medical care !

BMJ exposes this  well known secret with the help of most authentic data from an apex scientific body CDC , Atlanta .

Reference

http://www.bmj.com/content/353/bmj.i2139#

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Men are from Mars , and Women are from Venus ” . . . Do you agree ?

Many probably witness the much talked differential behavior among the gender every day. Its argued , men take more risk in life ( often senseless !) , some go to the extreme to suggest Men are Idiots and decorate them with a provocative title MIT (Men Idiot Theory ) (Mcpherson 2011).Risk taking is important in life, but at what cost ? Does women (Who are caring by nature ) help themselves and the society by less risk taking behavior ?

I stumbled upon this rare piece of writing from BMJ which would demand in depth analysis into this gender phenomenon based on evolutionary biology and genetics.

This article concludes, Yes, men . . . indeed tend to take some foolish risks in various life situations that result in potential harm.

Gender difference in medical outcome men are from mars women venus male idiotic theory darwin theory

What is the influence of MIT on medical profession and patient outcome ?

Now , Iam compelled to ask a hypothetical question .Does women medical professionals take less aggressive stance and low risk taking behavior ?

If it’s true, It may have some striking advantage too.

Reference

1.Harris CR, Jenkins M, Glaser D. Gender differences in risk assessment: why do women take fewer risks than men? Judgm Decis Mak2006;1(1): p. 48-63.

2.Eckel CC, Grossman PJ. Men, women and risk aversion: experimental evidence. In: Plott CR, Smith VL, eds. Handbook of experimental economics results. Vol 1. North-Holland, 2008:1061-73.

3.McPherson J. Women are from Venus, men are idiots. Andrews McMeel, 2011

4.Northcutt W. The Darwin Awards: The official Darwin Awards: 180 bizarre true stories of how dumb humans have met their maker. Orion, 2004.

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These two quotes  on practice of medicine are close to my heart , one from Voltaire , a non medical man (a French poet )  and  the other from ,one of the greatest medical professional of our times, William  Osler .

gretest medical quotes william osler voltaire

It is amazing ,how the thinking pattern of a  philosopher  and a true scientific professional living  centuries apart are almost in sync with a great medical reality !

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After nearly three decades of , treating patients , teaching students and little involvement in research , created a new definition for null hypothesis in medical research  !

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Mohandas Karam Chand Gandhi ,  father of my country , India , made these observations in year 1925  about the  fundamental constituents of  violence in society . These words of monumental wisdom came when he was  addressing young Indians in a country- side rally .

mahatma gandhi quotes medical science humanity

Note, his finger points to , what  exactly is relevant to our profession ! He emphasized this  nearly  100 years ago, when medical science was at its infancy .One can only guess what would be Mahatma’s comment about our profession in it’s  current form !

Should we include moral, behavioral and ethical classes  right from the first year of medical  school along with Anatomy , physiology and bio chemistry.Medical council of India obviously need to burn more mid night oil , I wish it happens in my life time. !

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As the medical care advances  human care  has taken the back seat. It is said super specialists  read more and more about less and less ! In the  process they  fail to see the  patients  as a single biological unit  instead as collection of organs .

While  organs in turn are looked as  pile of data.Hence the  treatment they provide lack the soul !

In the prevailing circumstances , how do we ensure  modern medicine  does not interfere with  these vulnerable souls,either to live in peace or leave in peace ?

Medical Ethics

Image : Source and Courtesy of http://illuminationstudios.com

It appears doctors are not at fault . The system is  biased towards raw science .Highly trained  doctors are tied down by  both  true and pseudo  scientific Intellect .Often  times they are compelled to do some procedure or interventions  just to  justify  the  premier status of the hospital  .While few do it  to show off  their expertise or  to impress  their peers   others are simply bound by rigid and obsessive  protocols and guidelines . Few others do it  for the burning  desire  of  scientific accomplishment .

One can offer hundred reasons for doing a procedure . . . but we always struggle to justify  with a valid reason for not doing a investigation or  procedure !

In fact , the  concept of appropriateness  criteria came out with good intention .But , it had failed miserably.

The irony is  . . . we need to indulge in something to avoid something.

Example 1 If homocystiene and  hsCRP vanish from the CAD screening industry   Adiponectin and Vitamin D3 comes in with a thunderous applause like a new Hollywood movie  !

Example 2: In cath lab  for leaving alone an insignificant  coronary stenosis , we have to do  another procedure  called FFR to satisfy  scientific ego ! (I know one senior doctor , who left a 80% LAD  lesion for medical management without FFR ( with all his clinical acumen )  was ridiculed for being unscientific !)

Here is a recent perspective article NEJM has discussed  this  important issue that plague us

Why should big  Tertiary  teaching hospital  are  flooded  with super specialists  which by default shun basic human care ?

Read this article*

Super specialist tertiary care hospital NEJM

*The article I have quoted  may  not  be completely relevant here  . . . It  answers  few of the queries raised!

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I frequently  refer to one of the most famous  medical quotes made in last century by a Harvard professor Dr Herbert Lay  in 1969.

 

medical quote herbert lay fda modern medicine Five  decades have gone since this observation was made by Dr Ley .Mind you ,Dr Ley is not a lay person , he was heading the same FDA  which  he targeted ! I guess when Dr Ley made this  statement  there was  little commercialization in  pharma Industry . Now along with it  an entirely  new field of medical device industry has grown to gargantuan proportions !

I  wonder what Dr Herbert Ley would have to say as on 2014 !

Many modern  medical  professionals would   shrug these views  as controversial , pessimistic and negative forces of science !

Here I borrow my own quote from venkat@thoughts

medical quotes venkatesan ethics

 

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Shall I begin with a provocative quote (My own !)

Inability to think beyond  self , family, private life  reflects a backward and immature  state of human mind

How to eradicate this backwardness  we all suffer from !

I stumbled upon a book which made me wonder , whether  eradication of  backwardness is little to  do with education ! It lies much, much deeper in our cortical thinking influenced by  inheritance , evolution , culture and economy .

The stunning truth was exemplified  by  American political  scientist  Edward C. Banfield  .A must read for every one who have mind for society , community and the humanity !

In this book he introduced a new term to describe this self centered thinking as “Amoral familism”

“Banfield concluded that  human  plight was rooted in the distrust, envy and suspicion displayed by  them in  relations with each other. Fellow citizens would refuse to help one another, except where one’s own personal material gain was at stake. Many attempted to hinder their neighbors from attaining success, believing that others’ good fortune would inevitably harm their own interests”

Banfield theroy  and  “Moral Bankruptcy in Modern medical care

I am afraid  there is a  compelling link between Banfield’s observation in a remote Italian village  to the current  medical  community   mind set who care only for their patients who pay them and keep them happy !

If you  think  education will eradicate social backwardness ,Why ?  one of the most highly educated community that form the noble profession remain backward in their thinking !

How do you explain  innumerable instances of hospitals ,  doctors shutting doors for  lesser humans  even in dire emergencies ! ?

Why do many of them  join hands with powers that can be detrimental to the overall health of the society ?

The stunning irony is , they do it  unashamed (with pleasure  at times!)  in  violation of the oath they take when they join the Noble profession. Shall we call it  as ” Moral Bankruptcy in medical care ?

Read further

Moral Basis of a Backward Society 
 
Moral basis of a backward society banfield

Highlights of this book  (Text from Wikipedia)

The Moral Basis of a Backward Society is a book by Edward C. Banfield, a political scientist who visited Montegrano, Italy . He observed a self-interested, family centric society which sacrificed the public good for the sake of nepotism and the immediate family. Banfield as an American was witnessing what was to become infamous as the “mafia” or families that cared only for its own “members” at the expense of their fellow citizens. Banfield postulated that the backwardness of such a society could be explained ‘largely but not entirely’ by ‘the inability of the villagers to act together for their common good or, indeed, for any end transcending the immediate, material interest of the nuclear family’.

 

Link to this book in PDF

 

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critical decision making cardiology cath lab tricks coronary  angiogram primary angioplasty ptca vs cabg acc aha guidelines esc guidelines

Answer

While our brain perceives  whatever option  we  choose is the best for the patient  , in reality it is rarely true !

The only comment I wish to make,  there is nothing called standard guidelines for complex and unusual problems .We need not be obsessed with protocols  !

Please remember , If you apply standard guidelines  in  non-standard situations  9/10 times we  are going to err !

So my  choice  would be, to  go with your gut feeling , of course  your gut should  be alive ,  up to date and periodically maintained !

If you don’t have the guts  . . . don’t worry  you have plenty of other options !

 

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nobel prize in medicine 2

Why not Nobel prize for clinical  science ?

 

nobel prize for medicine

Nobel prize was constituted  to reward people or organisation  who make a  huge impact on the welfare of man kind. It is given in various categories  for  outstanding contributions in Physics, Chemistry, Literature, Peace, Physiology or Medicine, and Economic Sciences

Unfortunately,  there is a strong bias towards  raw basic science when it is given in the filed of medicine.Do you know  ,there is no Nobel prize exclusive  for medical science ? It shares with human physiology the only field included for Nobel prize in medicine.

Evolution of human  history reveals it is not the stunning  scientific discoveries that impact the mankind . It is  largely dependent  on how we  use them . It is true and natural ,invention of  sub atomic particles , decoding  quantum mechanics  and  trans-cellular  signals always generate great interest  than others.

In medical science, time and again we have seen problems arise in  applying fruits of scientific  research into  practical  usage in the patient domain  in the bedside.

What is use of rewarding inventor of  nitric oxide with a  Nobel prize , when billion-dollar nitrate  industry is thriving on a non existing  life long indication of  stable angina .

It is  surprising  to note ,  Nobel  committee does  give credit to wisdom &  intellect  while awarding  prize in  peace,  literary  or  economic sciences. For some reason it lacks  such a vision when it comes to medical sciences !

We have seen Nobel prize being  awarded to organization that strive for peace and welfare of society and community like UN ,EU  etc.The world health organization is the premier power supposed to provide and  regulate the health in this planet.I do not recall any time WHO  was close to  considered for the  Noble prize in medicine  !

Nobel Ironies

Nobel committee rewards  economists who point out lacunae in vital world macro and micro economics  theories.

Dubious men(Heads of state )  are decorated with Noble peace prizes  for preventing a war in  one geographical area while doing exactly the  opposite elsewhere !

In this modern  millennium  where scientific pursuits are contaminated and  many of the  research questions are misdirected or irrelevant , Nobel committee needs a through rejig in the manner in which  medical  Nobel prize is  being awarded. We know ,Noble’s death wish was to award the brightest mind with highest scientific  breakthroughs in those world . . . but

I guess Alfred Nobel if alive would have changed his rules .He wouldn’t  have imagined modern science would systematically devalue common sense and reinventing it would also deserve an award equivalent to Nobel !

Some of the medical  discoveries that deserve noble medical prize

  • States which excel in   school health nutrition and  other basic health programs  for the downtrodden
  • Doctors who promote bed side clinical skills
  • Tobacco eradication networks
  • Organisations like medicine san-frontiers which strives for basic life saving medication for all
  • Journal houses that specialise  on Medical ethics and clinical sciences
  • Medical professionals and institutions provide value education
  • Medical economists who expose the wasted financial resources that  widen the gap between sick and rich

How about    Nobel prize in cardiology  for preventive cardiologist  who successfully terminates a million statin prescription and restoring natural exercise directed lipid regulation in them  ?

How about  Noble prize for a noble  physician sitting in corporate hospital infested with all commercial ingredients who could resist and argue successfully  against   inappropriate tonsillectomies  and appendectomies ?

I am sure , such a man will be a  laughing stock  for most of us !

An appeal to Nobel committee

It is a wish , Noble prize  in medicine is to be included for people who do yeomen services in preventive and  clinical care and professional who carry forward the legacy of  caring for the sick with  clinical application of available scientific wisdom !

In this scientifically obsessed world , It will be a new beginning in the  way future medical research will be directed and nurtured ! Only then the true power of Noble prize in medicine will be  realised !

Reference

Link to Wikipedia Nobel prize in Medicine

 

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