There are a lot of doctors who read these posts, and there are doctors I know and can vouch for as being real. This is an email from one such person I can personally vouch for. In every field, we have people who are actually good at what they do, and others who simply repeat what they read. In economics, I can vouch that we have the same problem. There are those who are only academics who have NEVER even traded no less tried to expand their understanding.
I have said before that I was speaking at I believe the Market Technicians conference in Chicago or perhaps Computrac. To my shock, Milton Friedman came to listen to me. While Milton was an academic, he made an effort like Adam Smith to explore the real world beyond the theoretical pontificating. So there are some on the research side who realize they must look at how things are truly applied.
This note from a reader I know is one of the good guys, expresses the same observation in medicine I have witnessed in politics and economics. Nobody prior to 1902 had a degree in economics, for at best it was a side discussion in ethics. Not even John Maynard Keynes had a degree in economics. Keep that in mind.
As you know, I am a doctor, and have been practicing medicine, and treating patients for 21 years. I have seen many new medications being developed and released to the public over my career. I also know many other doctors. One thing I can say is that probably 85-95% of doctors are honest people who work, and want to improve peoples’ lives. However, we all know that we’re not always 100% successful.
However, it’s also important to understand that there are doctors and then there are “doctors”. Some doctors do not practice medicine, and just do research, or are administrators, or political appointees. Most doctors that actually practice medicine work with their patients to accomplish positive outcomes. Doctors who are administrators or appointees generally do not care to deal with patients, and that is why they are in administration. I do not have any interaction with these latter type of doctors, but I would say that their actual knowledge about treating people is rather limited. They are generally more interested in fundraisers, etc. I think it would be safe to say that it is more important to listen to a doctor that actually has experience, and treats patients. I think it would also be safe to say that you could probably ignore at least half the things that an administrator or appointee says.
One of the many things I will occasionally comment about with my patients is that there are two parts of the body that we, as doctors in the field of medicine don’t really have a good grasp on: 1. the immune system, and 2. the brain.
Anytime we are dealing with the immune system, there will always be a degree of uncertainty greater than we are used to dealing with. Vaccines deal with the immune system. While our treatments for most of the body, may be 99% effective (which are the results that most modern doctors are used to), our treatments when dealing with the immune system or the brain may only be 50-70% effective.
I can also say that the doctors that are currently promoting the vaccine as “safe and effective” actually think that it is safe and effective, as many doctors don’t think too critically about anything anymore, but just accept whatever they’re told or whatever they read. Many of these doctors are simply too busy treating their patients to stop and think, and then when they get home, they are busy with their families.
The COVID vaccine may very well have some side effects that we are not currently aware of. The problem is that we need time and numbers to see any correlations. I would generally say that by 3 years from now, there should be enough data to assess any side effect associated with the COVID vaccines (assuming it is not censored), as that is generally the time frame that we have needed in the past to correlate a rare side effect from a medication.
Insofar as the virus itself is concerned, I would agree that this is a real virus. We do not culture this virus, because if we grow it in a lab, then lab personnel could be infected. Consequently, we rely on lab tests to establish a diagnosis. No lab test in medicine has ever been 100% accurate. The main terminology we use for discussing the accuracy of a lab test is “sensitivity” and “specificity”, among other terms to discuss how reliable a test may or may not be. There will always be false positive results and false negative results, no matter the test, and that is where having the medical acumen becomes important.
While wearing medical masks may very well help insofar as preventing people from coughing all over each other, we all know that masks will not be 100% effective either.
Yes, I would suggest not getting distracted by all these irrelevant details in the field of medicine, as no one knows all the details yet, and we may possibly never know the details. This is not the plague (with a 50% mortality rate), nor is it smallpox (with a 10% mortality rate). It is a respiratory virus.
Thanks for covering the world’s events, and informing us about lesser known events in history!