I swear that this is not associated with yesterday’s Jobsxtaposition topic.
I love science. I love thinking, questioning and learning. I love Edison’s I didn’t fail, I found a thousand ways NOT to make a lightbulb. Think. Hypothesize. Experiment. Compare results to expectations. Think some more. Question why things turned out the way they did.
I love logic. I love the steps to prove that something is true; I’m challenged by, but accept that you cannot prove something is false.
However, the practice of science today is be very different than my expectations of science. Today, at least according to the media and the politicians, we rely on consensus rather than experimentation, opr God forbid, fact.
How did this happen? Maybe it started with global warming. If we cannot prove that man did not cause it (because you cannot prove a negative) therefore, it is a manmade problem. Why? Because we have a consensus!
There was once another proud science – medicine. While I was doing some research I came across an interesting issue; doctors are expected to treat patients according to universal standards. If the majority of doctors prescribes medicine A or surgery B, and your doctor prescribes therapy C he or she can find themselves in big trouble if they don’t follow the consensus. They could be censured or lose their license. A handful of states have written laws to protect doctors who dare to think, but in most states the medical profession has the clout to keep the state legislature in line.
So, after four years of college; medical school; internship/residency; and several years of fellowship, doctors are expected not to question or think. They are expected to follow the consensus; order the consensus driven tests, prescribe the consensus driven treatment and not vary from the consensus.
My doctor is a wonderful guy. He orders various tests and based on the outcome of the tests he prescribes certain treatments and medication. There are guidelines he is expected to follow. If he varies from the universally accepted (i.e. consensus) he faces consequences.
My auto mechanic is a wonderful guy. He connects my car to the diagnostic computer and based on what the computer says, he makes certain repairs. There is a book that tells him what to do and what to charge. He’s a smart guy, but doesn’t have the education of my doctor.
The difference is, that if my mechanic wants to try something out of the ordinary, he can, and does, and it often fixes the problem, thank you.
Steve, this post is truly excellent. I’m not sure if I’m BANANAS, but after reading it–I was struck with whether I should laugh or ponder it as reality.
There’s just one little thing that begs a bit of further contemplation. And if anyone knows the old story, YOU do. In medicine if a doc relies on computerized data and is on grand rounds, for example, he or she might ask a subordinate for how all the data looks. The subordinate might say, “Everything looks good.”
Then comes the all-important question: “How’s the patient?”
Unfortunately, the subordinate says, ” The patient is deceased.”