Why Do People Follow Medical Authorities? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 198 Old 11-22-2012, 09:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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http://preventdisease.com/news/12/112112_Why-Do-People-Follow-Medical-Authorities.shtml

 

 

 

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What we are experiencing today is essentially medical tyranny where government, pharmaceutical conglomerates and medical colleges conspire to produce blind followers of a system that produces more health risks than benefits to any given population. 

Professors Alex Haslam and Stephen Reicher explain how followers of such methodologies do so not just through obedience, but enthusiasm too -- challenging the long-held belief that human beings are 'programmed' for conformity.

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#2 of 198 Old 11-22-2012, 10:37 AM
 
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I wonder if we're hard-wired to follow our elders...who used to be full of wisdom from having lived a long life.

 

Honestly, we should be able to trust the authorities; they should have done all the hard work so that we lay people can reap the benefits of their knowledge. But now "authorities" are bought and paid for, so practically nothing they say can be trusted. What a sad state of affairs!

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#3 of 198 Old 11-22-2012, 06:39 PM
 
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I think it's more cultural rather than hard-wiring.

 

My parents practically worshipped doctors, and raised us to do the same. It was very, very difficult on an emotional level to realize that the doctors I had genuinely liked and trusted were wrong about such an important issue; I did look at them as sort of parental figures, so it felt like I had just discovered that that parent was a member of a cult.

 

Several of my friends are doctors and nurses, and it's kind of the same thing with them, too. They are all caring, intelligent, well-educated people, but it's like they're in a cult and can't see beyond it.  When I've shown them research that they've never seen before, mainstream research showing vaccine damage, their eyes glaze over and they say things like, "but there are fewer antigens in today's vaccines" (even though the research is on adjuvants, not antigens) or "but complications from flu are very serious indeed" (even though the flu shot does nothing to minimize those complications, and I've shown them the Cochrane report detailing this).

 

If you've ever known someone who's been in a cult (I have), my doctor/nurse friends have that same look in their eyes, like they're focusing on...something else; they're looking right at me, but they don't see me. It's more like looking through me.

 

It's very creepy.


So we've agreed to disagree, and we never talk about vaccines.  

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#4 of 198 Old 11-26-2012, 02:06 AM
 
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If I need legal advice I ask a lawyer. If I need advice on money issues I'll talk to someone who is an expert in that.

 

 If I need medical advice I like to talk to a medical expert. It's as simple as that for me.

 

 Medical professionals have spent years studying how the body works and the various problems it can have. I consider myself a smart person, but I do not think I can catch up with them after a little bit of reading of webMD (or similar), although it can help to arrive at the appointment informed to persuade them to talk to me like an adult! ;) 

 

I do think it's a crying shame how little trust many people have in the medical industry. I think that's a massive problem, and something I hope the current training for medical professionals is addressing. 


Mother of two living in UK. Daughter (2007) born in USA, son (2010) born here. I'm pro natural birth, midwife care, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, baby wearing and a keen advocate of cloth diapering. I'm a full time working research scientist (physical sciences) and I'm pro-vaccine.

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#5 of 198 Old 11-26-2012, 03:09 AM
 
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Medical school doesn't teach about parenting, yet they feel they are parenting experts. The same is true of breastfeeding (no training), yet they are taught formula is just as good. They go through residency and internship programs that involve many aspects of cult brainwashing. Is it any wonder we can't talk to them about medical issues? It is rare to find a doctor who listens. Most jump to conclusions, playing the odds. "You can't have x, because that's so rare." They need to listen before they can reestablish trust.
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#6 of 198 Old 11-26-2012, 05:16 AM
 
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Originally Posted by prosciencemum View Post

If I need legal advice I ask a lawyer. If I need advice on money issues I'll talk to someone who is an expert in that.

 

 If I need medical advice I like to talk to a medical expert. It's as simple as that for me.

 

I agree.  I pay them to advise me, that does not include deciding for me.


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#7 of 198 Old 11-26-2012, 06:09 AM
 
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Medical school doesn't teach about parenting, yet they feel they are parenting experts. The same is true of breastfeeding (no training), yet they are taught formula is just as good. They go through residency and internship programs that involve many aspects of cult brainwashing. Is it any wonder we can't talk to them about medical issues? It is rare to find a doctor who listens. Most jump to conclusions, playing the odds. "You can't have x, because that's so rare." They need to listen before they can reestablish trust.

Wow. You seem pretty confident that all doctors to through the same exact training.

I was taught about breastfeeding in med school. I trained under Dr. Ruth Lawrence. She wrote this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0323028233

So, what's the source of your definitive knowledge that doctors receive no training in breastfeeding?

Also, can you please give me some examples of the cult brainwashing techniques I underwent?
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#8 of 198 Old 11-26-2012, 09:37 AM
 
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If not following medical professionals on issues of health who should someone follow?  I have often wondered why someone would follow advice of a celebrity rather than someone who is trained on an issue,  I can't imagine following Amanda Peets Recommendation to vaccinate, or Jenny McCarthy's advice not to vaccinate, or Mayim Bialk's advice to practice attachment parenting.  What expertise do they have?  Doctors I can at least answer the question.  I think people follow medical professionals on issues of health, because they are experts.

 

Also it depends on the type of doctor whether or not they are experts.  Dr. Sears for example is lauded as a parenting expert and many people follow his advice on parenting.  I also don' think that doctors are taught that formula is just as good as breastmilk.  Not even formula companies make that claim, they all say breast is best.  I have tremendous gratitude for my MD (a GP) without her I may haev given up on breastfeeding, She provided countless articles and studies on why I should continue because it is better for my son. The World Health Organization, the American Academy of Pediatrics, they all promote breastfeeding.

 

Following medical professionals for me though doesn't mean following blindly.  Just like any profession there are bad apples who shouldnt be followed.  And often, I think we have to pick which medical authoritites we follow (as not all agree, you can't exactly follow Paul Offit and Andrew Wakefield at the same time).

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#9 of 198 Old 11-26-2012, 10:22 AM
 
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I personally know two doctors and their training. Everything I said is true for them.
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#10 of 198 Old 11-26-2012, 10:45 AM
 
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I personally know two doctors and their training. Everything I said is true for them.

That's fine. Everything I said was true for myself and the 100 other people in my class.

Perhaps you should have phrased your comment differently, since you categorically stated that doctors have no training in breastfeeding. Apparently this was based on a sample size of 2.
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#11 of 198 Old 11-26-2012, 11:18 AM
 
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Using the breastfeeding example- there is still so much inconsistency when it comes to medical professionals and their advice. You might find a doctor who supports extended bf, but you're also likely to find another who tells you to wean at one year, or a nursing staff who introduce formula to your newborn in the hospital... if you blindly trust the whole industry, with no thoughts or research of our own, you'll basically default to taking orders from the first medical professional who tells you what to do.

It's preposterous to think that we are supposed to be brainless sheep who can't take care of ourselves without western medicine and its godlike purveyors.
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#12 of 198 Old 11-26-2012, 11:39 AM
 
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Speaking for myself, I shopped around until I found a medical professional I trust and I'm comfortable taking advice from.  Just like i would with a lawyer or a mechanic or or or.  When I was looking around I had some red flag issues, like breast feeding, discipline etc, that would've led me to find another doctor if we disagreed on those issues.

 

As a teacher, I feel like i have expertise to share with students and parents, so I guess I extend that courtesy to other professionals.  Also as a teacher, I would never expect my expertise to trump a parents judgement, they are the ultimate expert on their kid, after all; and I take that attitude, as well.  I am the ultimate decision maker for my  and my child's health care, but my doctors advice carries a lot of weight.

 

I got to a family practice affiliated with a major research university in my area and the nurse practitioners and residents I've seen have excellent training when it comes to breast feeding and never steered me wrong on that front.

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#13 of 198 Old 11-26-2012, 11:40 AM
 
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Also, I think there is a HUGE difference between saying "I trust the expertise of my doctor and I take their advice" vs some kind of blind trust or blind faith.

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#14 of 198 Old 11-26-2012, 11:45 AM
 
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Off topic, I know. WildKingdom, out of curiosity, how long and in depth was your breastfeeding education?
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#15 of 198 Old 11-26-2012, 11:48 AM
 
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Those arguing in favor of vaccinations seem to frequently imply a blind faith to the medical community at large. If that's not what is meant, then more careful wording is needed.
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#16 of 198 Old 11-26-2012, 11:50 AM
 
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Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

Those arguing in favor of vaccinations seem to frequently imply a blind faith to the medical community at large. If that's not what is meant, then more careful wording is needed.

 

 

oooor, you could be more careful about making assumptions.

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#17 of 198 Old 11-26-2012, 11:50 AM
 
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If not following medical professionals on issues of health who should someone follow?  I have often wondered why someone would follow advice of a celebrity rather than someone who is trained on an issue.

 

Some people are not interested in studying certain aspects of their healthcare (say vaccines) or concede to what they see as their hcp wisdom, in which case they just do as their hcp provider suggests; some people are very interested in sorting it out for themselves, with input from various factions.  There are people that fall in between.  No path is wrong, both have pros and cons.  I lean towards sorting it out on my own for a variety of reasons.   Without question my biggest reason is that if something goes wrong, I and my children will bear the consequences - thus I think it is my job to sort out the risks and benefits.  

 

As per following celebrity advice….I don't think very many do.  That is a stereotype thrown around by the pro-vax community, and I do not think it is rooted in truth.   That does not mean people do not read Jenny McCarthy sites,  or the links on them, but I have never heard anyone say "I don't vax because Jenny McCarthy told me not to."  You are not pro vax because of Amanda Peet, and I am not  non-vax because of Jenny McCarthy

 

 

 

 


There is a battle of two wolves inside us.  One is good and the other is evil.  The wolf that wins is the one you feed.

 

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#18 of 198 Old 11-26-2012, 11:55 AM
 
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Also, I think there is a HUGE difference between saying "I trust the expertise of my doctor and I take their advice" vs some kind of blind trust or blind faith.

I am not being snarky - but I do not see the difference.

 

If people are advocating we should trust doctors and take their advice, that is a nice way of saying we should just do as they say.  

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There is a battle of two wolves inside us.  One is good and the other is evil.  The wolf that wins is the one you feed.

 

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#19 of 198 Old 11-26-2012, 11:56 AM
 
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Off topic, I know. WildKingdom, out of curiosity, how long and in depth was your breastfeeding education?

We had classes during second year during the child development section. I remember that part of that was having a bunch of bteastfeeding moms come in to discuss their experiences with us. Dr. Lawrence did a lot of teaching on the physiology of breastfeeding. Of course, in pharmacology we had to know all about the safety pf meds for lactation. Then we had additional training while doing our peds rotation and OB/GYN rotations. We had to shadow the lactation consultants for a day. I don't remember exact hours, if that's what you're asking. It was years ago. Most of the learning is on the job during rotations and residency, so it's hard to parse it into hours.

I mean, there wasn't a course called "Breastfeeding 101". That's not how med school works. All the learning is on a continuum. It's like how people say that doctors don't learn about vaccines during school because they look at the curriculum and don't see a course about vaccines. In reality, we learn about them in microbiology, immunology, pathophysiology , pharmacology.

Sorry for typos. On phone, typing with carpal tunnel syndrome. Bad combo.
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#20 of 198 Old 11-26-2012, 12:00 PM
 
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oooor, you could be more careful about making assumptions.


How 'bout we split the work? You be more careful about what you write and I'll work on being more careful with my assumptions. Fair?
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#21 of 198 Old 11-26-2012, 12:12 PM
 
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We had classes during second year during the child development section. I remember that part of that was having a bunch of bteastfeeding moms come in to discuss their experiences with us. Dr. Lawrence did a lot of teaching on the physiology of breastfeeding. Of course, in pharmacology we had to know all about the safety pf meds for lactation. Then we had additional training while doing our peds rotation and OB/GYN rotations. We had to shadow the lactation consultants for a day. I don't remember exact hours, if that's what you're asking. It was years ago. Most of the learning is on the job during rotations and residency, so it's hard to parse it into hours.
I mean, there wasn't a course called "Breastfeeding 101". That's not how med school works. All the learning is on a continuum. It's like how people say that doctors don't learn about vaccines during school because they look at the curriculum and don't see a course about vaccines. In reality, we learn about them in microbiology, immunology, pathophysiology , pharmacology.
Sorry for typos. On phone, typing with carpal tunnel syndrome. Bad combo.

Thanks for responding. Sorry about your carpal tunnel.

It's hard to say for sure, but it seems like a lactation consultant would have more training than an OB or ped. And understandably so. But that's true, I'd rather get my breastfeeding advice from a lactation consultant than a pediatrician. But well baby checkups don't include discussing breastfeeding with a lactation consultant. They are not paid for out of all insurance (at least when my son was an infant).

Getting back on topic, my point is, how can I value medical opinions when getting those opinions from the experts I am inclined to trust are not part of the current medical establishment?
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I am not being snarky - but I do not see the difference.

If people are advocating we should trust doctors and take their advice, that is a nice way of saying we should just do as they say.  

Wow. I'm not sure what to say to that.
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#23 of 198 Old 11-26-2012, 12:20 PM
 
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Doesn't take their advice=do as they say? headscratch.gif

 

If not, we may disagree on what is meant by "take their advice."  


There is a battle of two wolves inside us.  One is good and the other is evil.  The wolf that wins is the one you feed.

 

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#24 of 198 Old 11-26-2012, 12:27 PM
 
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If you give someone advice, is that the same as giving them a command?

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#25 of 198 Old 11-26-2012, 12:27 PM
 
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Take their advice = weighing the opinions of someone who has been through medical school, clinical practice, and continuing education more heavily those of someone on the Internets with no formal training and perhaps no background to understand statistical studies.

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#26 of 198 Old 11-26-2012, 12:44 PM
 
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Thanks for responding. Sorry about your carpal tunnel.
It's hard to say for sure, but it seems like a lactation consultant would have more training than an OB or ped. And understandably so. But that's true, I'd rather get my breastfeeding advice from a lactation consultant than a pediatrician. But well baby checkups don't include discussing breastfeeding with a lactation consultant. They are not paid for out of all insurance (at least when my son was an infant).
Getting back on topic, my point is, how can I value medical opinions when getting those opinions from the experts I am inclined to trust are not part of the current medical establishment?

Absolutely. Lactation consultant probably has 10x the training and expertise that I do. I never claimed otherwise. All I'm saying is that it's incorrect to say that doctors don't get any training in BF.

I also think its stupid that insurance companies don't pay for an LC, but I think that pretty much all things that insurance companies do are stupid.
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#27 of 198 Old 11-26-2012, 12:52 PM
 
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Take their advice = weighing the opinions of someone who has been through medical school, clinical practice, and continuing education more heavily those of someone on the Internets with no formal training and perhaps no background to understand statistical studies.

And then do as I'm told? Or am I allowed to disagree, get a second opinion, or rely on my own instincts?

I followed a doctor's advise over my instincts once, with disastrous results. Never again!
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#28 of 198 Old 11-26-2012, 12:59 PM
 
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Of course you're allowed to disagree with your doctor.  Who claimed otherwise?

 

And you can get as many opinions as you want, from whatever health care providers you want.  If your insurance doesn't cover it, that's between you and them.

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#29 of 198 Old 11-26-2012, 01:11 PM
 
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Also, I think there is a HUGE difference between saying "I trust the expertise of my doctor and I take their advice" vs some kind of blind trust or blind faith.

Please explain this HUGE difference.
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#30 of 198 Old 11-26-2012, 01:28 PM
 
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"Taking advice", for me means "do what I'm told". No amount of arguing is going to change that. That was beaten into me as a child. Therefore, I refuse to "take advice". I do consider what others say, compare that to my experience and my instincts and decide for myself.

There are some, like my mother, who may feel more comfortable doing what they're told. My mother once told me it's better to follow someone else's advice, because then you have someone to blame when it goes wrong! So there's one reason why some follow doctor's advice!
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