Have you recently finished your PhD, or are about to finish? Are you interested in carrying out research in the field of ‘medical methodology’?
Last week, there was a very interesting, and very wet, conference on Causation and Complexity in Sydney. This was the 10th Munich-Sydney-Tilburg Conference in the Philosophy of Science (MuST10). Some of the talks related to EBM+ and RWT. Before I introduce these talks, let’s review the difference between EBM+ and RWT:
Suppose you want to diagnose, predict future development or treat a particular patient. The reference class problem is this: Which population is most appropriate for these tasks? The reference class problem is hardwired. After spending a huge amount of research time, I get the impression that a satisfying solution is not even close. However, I am not giving up…
I very much enjoyed a recent article on cholesterol in New Scientist by Michael Brooks, which is based on his personal experiences with statins. I’d recommend the article as a whole, but the point that really grabbed me was the following quote:
“After two years on statins I had stopped going to the gym. I gave up running. I cut down on swimming. I simply couldn’t bear the pain – or the humiliation of being so weak and sluggish. In the end, I told my doctor I wanted to stop taking statins because they were turning me into a couch potato. Surely that was as bad for me as having high cholesterol?”
For those involved with engagement activities, the following phrases might strike a chord…
“It may as well be in a foreign language!”
“Didn’t understand any of it but the punctuation was fine!”
“What do you study again?”
The above were often responses I received when sending drafts to friends and family to be proof-read. I soon gave up on sending them anything altogether, from which my degrees probably suffered.
These reactions do, however, allude to the problem of engaging various audiences and stakeholders with the philosophy of medicine.