Shoa Clarke, a young physician from Boston, recently lamented Twitter’s pseudoscience problem. How, pray tell, can one compete in this cesspool of medical nonsense?
It’s easy in principle. We compete with involvement. Every one of us bears the responsibility to chime in when nonsense prevails. The collective opinion of sensible practitioners has the capacity to trounce just about anything. And there are many ways we can contribute. If we can’t invididually create powerful stuff to dilute the nonsense, at least we can collect, curate and talk up the good stuff that’s being generated. We can facilitate the conversation around those who are countering.
It’s harder in practice. Getting doctors to collectively participate in public dialog is like herding cats. Instead of involvement we see doctors huddling under their exam room tables. Afraid of things that don’t exist, they sit and wait hoping that public dialog is just a fad.
So long as there’s huddling, the quacks will have the stage.
Take a ride in the way-back machine to 2009 when I first pondered this question of obligation to participate.