Monday, 23 September 2013

Monday, 16 September 2013

Academia: The Violent Land of Giant Egos

Most hospital doctors, of all grades, will be familiar with the division of hospital medicine between the academic side, of teaching and research, and the non academic side, also known as "working for a living". Throughout my career I was often struck by the schism between the two, and the disdain expressed by both sides for the other. I was always a worker, slogging away on a daily basis, with no interest personally in research, or any time to do it. I always felt I should have a degree of respect and admiration for those working in the teaching hospitals, who I expected would be more talented, skilled and brighter than me. So whenever I met some of these people I was always a little disappointed to find that they didn't quite live up to my expectations.
Today, in two totally different areas I have found the problem with academia, both in medicine, and more generally, expressed succinctly and simply.
Firstly I read a resignation letter from a PhD student expressing his disappointment with his experience.
"I’ve lost faith in today’s academia as being something that brings a positive benefit to the world/societies we live in. Rather, I’m starting to think of it as a big money vacuum that takes in grants and spits out nebulous results, fueled by people whose main concerns are not to advance knowledge and to effect positive change, though they may talk of such things, but to build their CVs and to propel/maintain their careers."
Within just 20 minutes I read this, almost identical lament from "The Medical Registrar" on facebook: 
"And the whole point of publications (apart from enlightening the world about the thing you've discovered with slightly dubious scientific methods and downright fraudulent statistics which doesn't really mean anything and needs more research) is to put them on your CV to get points..."
I've often commented here on the worthlessness of some of the publications that have come to my attention. 
Perhaps it's time we stopped according the concept of publications and research such deference. When doctors who want to work are sidetracked into doing research they're not interested in, that they do badly and indifferently, what is being achieved? 

Friday, 6 September 2013

Mystery object

We haven't had a mystery object for a very long time. Any guesses what this is?

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Ambitrim scam

Here we go with yet another scam. Another product promising impossible levels of weight loss, in this case 18Kg in 4 weeks. Oh please!!! The link takes you to what purports to be an on line magazine called "Women's Health six" and in keeping with the image of a magazine there are 10 links at the top to take you to different sections of the magazine, such as fitness, health, beauty etc. But every single one takes you to the same page, where they try to sell you highly priced tablets claiming all sorts of pseudoscientific "fat busting" nonsense. As is usual there is a second tablet you have to buy to ensure efficacy, this one a laxative.
This ad however may well be falling foul of the law. Nowhere in the terms and conditions does it mention what funds will be taken out of your account in the long term. Naughty.

Don't find out the hard way. Steer well clear.