Stumbled across this blog post from VancouverFeline recently. Warms my skeptical heart!!
In medicine, we have many habits and quirks handed down through the generations. Often, we think nothing of these, and even believe that these well-accepted practices are grounded in rational evidence-based thinking. Surprisingly many are not, and even today, medicine is heavily influenced by fashion and eminence.
The word “believe” and all its derivatives has no place in sound medical practice. I cringe every time that word used by specialists in a peer-reviewed journal, article or lecture. If we want medicine to be a religious experience, then there are faith-healers happy to be consulted. Use of the word “believe” implies “I have not thought about this and am accepting faithfully this concept”. Granted no doctor has time to individually explore every medical concept that we use, but a collective level of skepticism is absolutely necessary.
We often think we are being healthily skeptic when, in questioning medicine, we head off in a New Age direction, feeding ourselves and our pets with naturopathic, homeopathic and expensive wonder products. Words that should stop you in your tracks, prompting some deep questions and caution, are “traditional”, “cure”, and “natural”. Just because the ancestors used something, when nothing else was around, and they believed it helped, remember that placebo effect, desperation and faith all come into play (as it does in all medical fields) – before popping something into my body, I would rather see the evidence.