Posted 27 June 2020
An opinion, published in the Friends of Science in Medicine newsletter.
Why do some doctors, equipped with a science-based degree offering so many opportunities for a satisfying professional career, join the ranks of raggle-taggle quacks and self-proclaimed experts? These range from outright shonks (eg Gwyneth Paltrow) to the sincere, but befuddled, followers of rigid, ancient, pre-scientific belief systems.
I offer some thoughts on what might or might not answer this question.
- Science is hard work
Learning can be described as ‘shallow’, ‘deep’ or ‘strategic’. Some students manage to scrape through their medical degree without a genuine understanding of biomedical science. How else could one explain their willingness to embrace pseudo-science?
- ‘Transactional’ medicine is unsatisfying
Rather than simply expanding their concept of good medical care, some make a ‘mind-body’ connection through pseudo-science. They don’t realise that psychological medicine is as heavily reliant on science as is