I'm an M4 student hopefully beginning residency this July. Over the past few years, across multiple specialties, I have observed what I believe is an increasing sentiment against anything related to science or medicine. It's something that is beginning to concern me more and more. I'm looking for perspectives from people who have more wisdom and experience than me.
The most obvious example is what I've seen everyday in my clinical rotations. On pediatrics, every single discussion about vaccination was a fight. Vitamin K injections were sometimes a fight. And it's not, "I have some concerns about that," it's people looking at you like you're completely insane for even suggesting such a thing. On Ob/Gyn, it was a struggle to get anyone to accept a flu shot. And it feels like every week there's a new tragic news story about somebody who attempted a "natural birth" where things went catastrophically wrong. And this is to say nothing of the embrace of pseudoscience I've noticed across all specialties. What makes a person more willing to believe an essential oil will help than a medication?
I'm not sure if the chicken or the egg came first, but I've also noticed an increasingly anti-science sentiment from many of our well-established institutions. The New York Times, a paper that I respect and read daily, published a pro-pseudoscience defense of "Goop." Alabama passed a law that would make doctors who perform abortion guilty of a felony that carries up to 99 years of prison time. Perhaps most egregious of all, a Cincinnati area hospital announced a partnership between their oncology division and the "essential oil" MLM DoTerra.
I suppose my question is, first of all, am I going crazy or is all of this getting much worse? I obviously haven't been in the game for a very long time, but it seems like this is spiraling further out of control each day. Am I limited by my lack of experience? And if this is real, how do we fight it? Because from where I'm standing, the anti-science factions are gaining more and more ground each day.
Thanks for reading!
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