Science & Medicine

Over the years there has been much hitching and pulling in
the way the three MPN Lists to which I have belonged have been managed.

Each was managed differently and I have managed to differ with and alienate the owner/managers of each. The first was a difference in philosophy, single vs multiple approaches to MPD affairs and open vs closed medical concepts. The second was gross differences in personalities and personal needs of owner and writers. The third was a difference in attitude toward abandonment of the list’s original purpose and reason for being as well as summarily abandoning the list itself.

That I have had differences with the management of all three lists raises an eyebrow about me. Is there a good English word for the quizzical raising of an eyebrow? “Oh?” doesn’t quite do it for me. Actually, in the scale of things important, my flunking out of “MPD lists 101” barely merits a twitch of the brow, so I feel comfortable in my far out musings being off topic, little noticed and quickly forgotten.

“Not A Doctor.” This cryptic phrase is often appended to medical advice or expert exposition or opinion as propounded on MPD lists. Possibly as protection against illegal practice of medicine. I see no real reason for that. Perhaps as a caution to readers that the advice is opinion not fact. Surely no need for that disclaimer. What with all the doctor bashing on MPN lists, although usually combined with the other common phrase, “Be sure to ask your doctor,” maybe it’s some sort of reverse bragging.

I wonder with all the scientific information on the internet and reliance on tests instead of experience, if Osler’s aphorism is valid today, “To study the phenomena of disease without books (internet) is to sail an uncharted sea, while to study books (internet) without patients is not to go to sea at all,” (parenthesis mine).

Whatever the motivation for declaring that the writer isn’t a doctor there’s another side of the coin that seems to be turning up on occasion these days. Not a problem yet, but stay tuned. I mean when “Am a Doctor” might raise an eyebrow or even produce a smile or a frown. Time was when a diploma conferred the right to claim the RN of being a Registered Nurse. Then an academic degree replaced the diploma and the classroom replaced the bedside as the once coveted BS RN became the norm . Subsequently the Master of Science degree replaced the BS and MS became the mark of distinction. Nowadays owning The PhD degree (not always in nursing) is not unusual for nurses and other hospital personnel.

Will the phrase,”I’m not a Doctor” soon come full circle and pose questions and problems of its own some sunny day? I reckon my musings are more than a stretch and off topic at that.

I can’t get everything I want to say into one column, and when I try I get everything confused and end up with doggerel or worse. I cause more pain than I divert. Even so, some of you will expect that I won’t first show mercy by stopping here. Of course I won’t. After all, “I am a Doctor” …drum roll and raised eyebrow ….OTOH “Primum non Nausea” .

So now to MPN lists, particularly re the owners, managers and prominent contributors. Do they control others’ thoughts or behavior? At least, they affect them. Words like “control,” “manipulate” and “influence” are taken as pejorative while to “moderate,” “educate,” and “placate” are acceptable, even desirable. Doesn’t each word suggest changing of someone’s thinking or behavior? If so, then whether advice posted on MPN lists is ethically good or bad, right or wrong might depend more on the writer’s intent than on the content. More on how captive or submissive the audience rather than how compliant with the rules. Perhaps to some extent on whose needs are really being filled, the adviser’s or the advised.

Although excellent advice, attempts to have someone adopt a healthy life style, exercise more and ‘eat right’ and the ever loving “see your doctor” and become MPN knowledgeable are as controlling as posting marginal information in a changing MPN world.

“Not a philosopher.” By all means see your Medical Ethicist. :)

Best, Arch

Back to the contents, please

© Dr. Arch M. and, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Dr. Arch M. and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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