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Feb 25 2013

I know this feeling

Maybe you know the feeling, too. You’ve got a career that you work at every day for years, that you take seriously and try to improve constantly, and you’re periodically dragged off to meetings where administrators and bureaucrats tell you what you should be doing — and the information is useless because they’ve never even tried to do it, preferring instead to kibitz professionally. So I felt that familiar sinking pit of despair as I read this article about the current political strategies for ‘fixing’ education. All that saved me from spitting on the screen was the author’s reply.

I’m thinking about the current health care debate. And I am wondering if I will be asked to sit on a national committee charged with the task of creating a core curriculum of medical procedures to be used in hospital emergency rooms.

I realize that most people would think I am unqualified to sit on such a committee because I am not a doctor, I have never worked in an emergency room, and I have never treated a single patient. So what? Today I have listened to people who are not teachers, have never worked in a classroom, and have never taught a single student tell me how to teach.

104 comments

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  1. 1
    magistramarla

    I loved that response!
    When I was teaching, I felt this nearly every time that we ha a “professional development” day.
    Those days were almost always a total waste of time. The one time that we had a great project, it was to develop a shared lesson plan with at least two teachers from other disciplines. As the Latin teacher, I came up with a project about volcanoes, Vesuvius in particular, with a science teacher and a geography teacher. I also came up with a lesson plan about Caesar with an English literature teacher and a history teacher. Fun projects!
    When I got to those sections about Vesuvius (Latin I) and Caesar (Latin II) with my classes, I e-mailed those teachers about doing our shared projects. They all told me that they would love to do it, but they were too restricted by the schedule for preparing for the state standardized tests to take time out for an extra project.
    Now why in the world did the district waste our time with requiring us to come up with these projects when we were not given the freedom to implement them?
    Silly me – I thought that we were actually supposed to interest our students with innovative teaching.

  2. 2
    Archaeopteryx lithographica

    Amazing, isn’t it? Over and over again we’re told how crappy our teachers are, how we have to “fix” our educational system, how our schools aren’t “accountable,” how we should run schools “like a business.” Meanwhile, we cut funding for education, cut teachers’ salaries, try to gut unions, divert education money to church schools and private schools, and attempt to water down science standards–and who is doing this stuff? People who have never stood in front of a classroom. People who think that high schools and universities should be training centers for their factories, and nothing more.

    It makes me sick to my stomach.

  3. 3
    Owlglass

    There are some professions prone to demonstrate the Dunning-Kruger effect quite well. In pretty much all professions where the tools of the trade are accessible or common (but not the expertise), some other non-professionals somehow think they can do it, too. Or claim to be better at it, because they allegedly think “outside the box” or look at it with “fresh eyes” or have some other expertise (sometimes they have deliberately kept for themselves). That’s the bane of my profession, too. Of course, if their corruption takes its toll, they had nothing to do with it.

  4. 4
    Rob Grigjanis

    A poster I used to have in my office;

    Eagles may soar, but weasels don’t get sucked into jet engines

    For some reason, this and the subject of education bring Michelle Rhee to mind.

  5. 5
    Rawnaeris, Lulu Cthulhu

    Hm. I was expecting a tie in to the all male panel on women’s reproductive rights.

    Even my field of auditing suffers from this. They want to pull auditors off t hook e street, run them through a few classes that may or may not be taught by auditors and expect tge new people to be as good/skilled as folks who’ve been doing this for 20+ years.

  6. 6
    Rawnaeris, Lulu Cthulhu

    *off the street* autcorrect gets me again.

  7. 7
    robro

    Of course, people who are not medical professionals are constantly telling doctors how to care for people…many are elected officials and then there are the religious people. And, non-scientists often tell scientists how science should be done. I spent 20 years developing product documentation and got much the same treatment, though certainly with less import, on how it should be done from engineers who couldn’t write in the active voice because everyone knows how to write…right? Arrogance just seems to be in our nature. We believe we understand the problem, we believe we have the solution…down the rat hole we go again.

  8. 8
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    I realize that most people would think I am unqualified to sit on such a committee because I am not a doctor, I have never worked in an emergency room, and I have never treated a single patient. So what? Today I have listened to people who are not teachers, have never worked in a classroom, and have never taught a single student tell me how to teach.

    This. Yes to all of this. All of the yes. I am so sick of hearing people who know nothing about medicine opine on how the NHS can do better, or people who’s extent of educational knowledge extends to half-remembered French lessons opining on how education policy can be better. You know who needs to be asked? Teachers, and possibly some people who have just left education who can remember what it was like and have a valid opinion on how it can be improved. Not middle aged Conservatives who want the A level system to go back to how it was when they were kids, when 20% of people failed.

    Because obviously, more people aren’t passing now because we found better methods of teaching people, Oh no! More people are passing because they’re easier! Stupid Tories.

    /tangent. Sorry. *removes chip from shoulder and carefully places in a box*.

  9. 9
    Caveat Imperator

    I can’t decide what irritates me more: people who are utterly ignorant and think they’re knowledgeable or people who are educated in one field and think that qualifies them to pontificate on another one entirely. You know the type; people with law degrees and master’s degrees who fall for health fads, college libertarians, or almost any conversation about parenting.
    Personally, I’d say the second kind, maybe just because I know more of them.

  10. 10
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    This also happens in the federal government. A few years back, we did a five year plan for the park. Brought in a whole bunch of people from disparate fields who kept telling us what we should be doing. After multiple times of, “We are already doing that, here are examples,” or, “We have tried that, here are examples, here are the reasons it did not work, here is what it would take to make it work,” those of us who would actually implement the plan were asked to leave because we were disruptive.

    I have heard people say, about teaching and interpretation (cultural and natural history interpretation, not language), that all it is is talking to people and anyone can do that.

  11. 11
    iknklast

    It gets even worse – they specifically tell me how to teach SCIENCE. My associate dean has even re-written assignments that he plainly didn’t comprehend because he thought he could do it better (he has a DEd; I have a Ph.D. in Biology, so he knows how to TEACH science, I suppose, without actually knowing science).

    I find it amusing to keep notes on the various speakers we get at in-service meetings each year, so I can see how the speaker this year contradicted the one we had last year and they both contradicted the one the year before. Meanwhile, the administrators sit there beaming in sheer delight at someone who has never been in a classroom being paid large speaking fees to tell people who spend every day in the classroom how it’s done. And the motivational speakers are even worse! You wonder how many people grew up on the Good Ship Lollipop.

  12. 12
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @Ogvorbis #10

    …those of us who would actually implement the plan were asked to leave because we were disruptive.

    I’m sorry, but that cracked me up :) Only in Government…

  13. 13
    cervantes

    Well, I agree that the people are not qualified in this instance but . . .

    You don’t have to actually do the thing in order to study it and know about it. Lots of medical researchers are Ph.D.s, not M.D.s, but they may be very highly qualified to participate in developing guidelines for medical care. PZ has never, as far as I know, actually been a cephalopod, either, but he knows a lot about them and could give be on an expert panel on conservation.

  14. 14
    Charly

    In private (corporate) sector is this unfortunately too, in no small amount. One of my friends calls this “the curse of professional managers”. Those people are complete doofuses, incompetent at every conceivable level with possible – but in no way obligatory – exception of personal skills, yet they wander from company to company every few year and try to “improve”, “optimize” etc. running processes whilst having no knowledge about their history and/or the state of the technology necessary for them. They think that having studied “management” means the do not need technical competence.

    I met a few of high managers who were competent and were really doing manager’s job – i. e. took care that people work in good, healthy environment and have both necessary motivation and equipment to do the job as required. Those who feel the need to meddle and do inevitably more harm than good prevail. I even encountered situations, when such manager run the company into bancrupcy, yet he never noticed what he has done wrong and simply went to “manage” another one.

    Sometimes I get the feeling that in order to get high in politics or in corporate hierarchy one has to be of the kind “Dunning-Krueger is stron with this one”.

  15. 15
    Worldtraveller

    In our industry, we call this ‘Performance Management’. Managers, most of whom have never done any engineering, telling us engineers how to do our jobs, and what metrics they will be using to evaluate us. Those metrics are 1) mostly out of our control, and 2) often antithetical to actually doing our job.

    I’m in the aircraft industry. The word ‘safety’ did not come up once, anywhere, on this year’s PM, as a goal.

    Happy flying!

  16. 16
    Steve LaBonne

    When a whole society is organized around the abject worship of money and power, people who possess those commodities in abundance are credited with all sorts of knowledge and wisdom that they do not in fact exhibit (to put it mildly).

  17. 17
    brucegee1962

    Regarding the specifics of the article:

    I particularly liked the comment about “teaching will be obsolete b/c of technology. Students will all work at home.” Apparently this person not only has no experience with teaching, but also no experience with children.

    I’ve taught plenty of college classes in person and online. Students simply learn more in person, because the amount of interaction you can have is about an order of magnitude greater. Take a cup full of wet sand and try to push it uphill through a straw; that pretty much replicates the experience of teaching an online class.

  18. 18
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Steve LaBonne:

    If a young man still has every newspaper, magazine, letter, piece of paper he has ever purchased or received stored in his house, we might consider recommending behavioural therapy. If someone else has fifty-one cats, seventy-seven dogs, forty-four guinea pigs, and a hamster, we would consider behavioural therapy a possible option. If, however, someone amasses more money than they, and the next three generations of their descendants, need to live in luxury, we bow down before this person as a minor deity and beg them to impart all of their wisdom whether it is applicable to reality or not.

  19. 19
    Randomfactor

    Meanwhile, we cut funding for education, cut teachers’ salaries, try to gut unions, divert education money to church schools and private schools, and attempt to water down science standards

    IOW, minimize costs, screw the employees and to hell with the customers and the product quality as long as the shareholders are happy.

    Yep, sounds like “running schools like a business” to me.

    Blueberry Story, anyone?

    http://teachers.net/gazette/JUN02/vollmer.html

  20. 20
    Rob Grigjanis

    Steve LaBonne @16:

    When a whole society is organized around the abject worship of money and power…

    It was in Julian Jaynes’ The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind that I first came across the idea that a civilization’s tallest buildings are its temples.

    Ogvorbis @18: Yeah, I wish the idea of avarice as a disorder rather than a virtue would gain more traction.

  21. 21
    lilandra

    I know where you are coming from too well. Here in Texas reform is thought of as defunding public schools to the lowest in the country, trying to shift the money to private religious schools, spending 400 million on a new test that bombed while laying off 1/3 of the teachers in the state rubbing teachers noses in the test results, and new teacher evaluations that are inspired by conservative Michele Rhea, a known fraud. And yes, sucking up valuable planning and grading time with meetings patronizing you with methods they never used themselves many years ago when they were teachers.

  22. 22
    robro

    Ogvorbis — “Bow down”? Some do more of a grovel.

  23. 23
    Anthony K

    and you’re periodically dragged off to meetings

    Only periodically?

    You eggheads really do live the high life.

  24. 24
    alwayscurious

    You can teach the fundamentals of business in about 30 minutes to an auto mechanic, but good luck teaching the fundamentals of auto repair to the business major.

  25. 25
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    thumper1990:

    I am so sick of hearing people who know nothing about medicine opine on how the NHS can do better

    That’s nice. Quite frankly, I am so sick of arrogant healthcare professionals who wish the public would STFU and do as they’re told and never question the semi-deity in the white coat.

  26. 26
    Steve LaBonne

    You can teach the fundamentals of business in about 30 minutes to an auto mechanic, but good luck teaching the fundamentals of auto repair to the business major.

    Brilliant, I’m SO stealing that.

  27. 27
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    iknklst

    And the motivational speakers are even worse! You wonder how many people grew up on the Good Ship Lollipop.

    Motivational speakers are a species of preacher. They have never done anyone any good, and the profession has no redeeming features whatsoever.
    Thumper1990

    I’m sorry, but that cracked me up :) Only in Government…

    *laughs bitterly* I’m sorry, have you ever worked for a large corporation?

    Steve Labonne#16
    So, so true.

  28. 28
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Newspaper clippings are not power. Cats are not power. Money is power.

    And though money has a diminishing marginal utility, as William H Gates Sr has pointed out its utility never drops to zero. That is rather one of the things that makes the aristocracy so dangerous; as long as they accumulate wealth, they never stop growing more powerful, and they can use their wealth to impose their values upon the world.

    Yeah, I wish the idea of avarice as a disorder rather than a virtue would gain more traction.

    It is neither a virtue nor a disorder. It is instrumentally rational to seek and hold power.

    Tax them all you want, but they aren’t sick so they can’t be fixed.

    The idea of diagnosing one’s political opposition as mentally ill ought to lose traction.

  29. 29
    chrislawson

    Mullens could sit on a medical board without any medical experience. Most medical boards keep a place or two for a layperson for the precise purpose of having a voice from outside the profession in the mix of opinions. And not just medicine. University research ethics committees and many other such bodies also have dedicated layperson positions. Back in prehistoric days when our (Australia) public hospitals were managed by hospital boards, the lay people on the board were considered crucial to the running of the hospitals — especially as they often brought in important skills that the medical and nursing people didn’t have.

    The problem in Mullens’ story is not that the senators and governors and Harvard professors are inexperienced and lack understanding, but that they are not *interested* in understanding. They actively exclude and demean people who have understanding in order to protect their personal prejudices from scrutiny. This is a common enough mental strategy, but indefensible amongst powerful people whose job is to create and implement important public policies.

  30. 30
    mildlymagnificent

    brucegee1962

    teaching will be obsolete b/c of technology

    They’ve been saying this for almost a hundred years. First it was radio. Then television was going to make teachers obsolete. Someone somewhere probably said it about the photocopier. Every single new tool, or aid to teaching presentation, has been heralded as the great answer to getting rid of the person best able to make teaching and learning happen.

  31. 31
    Rob Grigjanis

    sgbm @28: You’re right. My use of ‘disorder’ was lazy and thoughtless. Retracted.

  32. 32
    iknklast

    Take a cup full of wet sand and try to push it uphill through a straw; that pretty much replicates the experience of teaching an online class.

    This. So much this. And I’m teaching a science lab class online, because my school insists that students should be able to get a complete degree online. Students hate it. I hate it. The administrators love it. So it stays.

  33. 33
    iskenderoglu

    A reign is the tenure of a monarch. Reins are straps used for managing a horse’s head, for steering the animal. Both words have metaphorical uses as well. In the 21st century, equestrian tack nomenclature is no longer in everyday use, so I suppose some confusion is to be expected. Oh, well…

  34. 34
    skeptifem

    What puzzles me is that everyone behaves as though there is not any data about the results of various educational methods. There are stacks of studies on virtually every aspect of schooling and what effect each variable has on students. The people at the conference do not need to be teachers to read and understand the literature, it is clear that they simply didn’t bother looking into any of it.

  35. 35
    llbguy

    complain, complain, complain. If committees are our of their realm of competence on certain issues. then bring it to their attention. And health care is way more heavily regulated than education.

    Hey, it’s everywhere. I practice law, and you know what? A bunch of non-lawyers are always voting on what our laws should be! Legislation changes, people have to scramble to adjust their practices, clients get inconvenienced, and many times the laws don’t even make sense or make problems worse . And everyone under-appreciates lawyers too and make fun of them all the time. Grumble grumble grumble.

    Nothing’s perfect, but incompetent superiors or stakeholders are just part of life. if you want change, a little more proactive please.

  36. 36
    weatherwax

    Owlglass #3: Thank you, I figured there had to be name of the logical fallacy I usually describe as “I don’t know nothin’ about _____, and that’s why I know more than the people who study it”.

    My mother taught school for the US Department of Dependent Services for many years (kids on military bases). She specialised in advanced and remedial reading, until that position was discontined. ‘Cause the kids were all going to learn to read on computers and didn’t need teachers anymore.

  37. 37
    shouldbeworking

    I’m a Canadian high school teacher. My ‘superiors in the hierarchy’ must be clones of the ones in the OP. except for the ones who left the classroom for administration just before the last ice age.

  38. 38
    anteprepro

    Wow. They got politicians Hypocrite, Sycophant, and Randroid, and the token Po-Mo Professor. Glad they managed to squeeze in a teacher with actual sense into that, because if I would to have heard how the meeting ended if it were just three politicians and Professor Quasi-Relevance.

    Nothing’s perfect, but incompetent superiors or stakeholders are just part of life. if you want change, a little more proactive please.

    So, you are defending incompetent politicians, who show complete abject ignorance about a subject, who are the dictating the rules without significant input from people who actually have first-hand experience by saying “that’s just the way it is”? Dismissing objections to this as mere “complaints” and pining for something more “proactive” than pointing out that this isn’t how things should be? Don’t flatter yourself into thinking your apathy and your knee-jerk discomfort at someone challenging the status quo is a rarity. You are not original or novel in this regard. Nor are you right. You are just one of the innumerable people who loudly declare that you don’t give a fuck, and no one else should either. You are one of the innumerable people who know that we are fucked but will chide anyone for being too partisan or too reckless or too uppity or too revolutionary if they dare to come up with a solution. You are a reluctant defender of the status quo, a millstone around the neck of those who dare to give progress more than lip service. You are the passive solidifier of privilege. You are what is wrong with politics.

  39. 39
    Tom Foss

    @libguy: I went to school about a semester less than the average lawyer. If I were making lawyer-level money, I’d probably be more open to taking the micromanagement. The bottom 10% of the bell curve of starting salaries for lawyers in the city where I had my first teaching job is still over $10,000 more than I make in my fifth year with a Master’s degree.

    I think you’d find teachers a lot less inclined to complain if our jobs paid anything like what other similarly-educated professionals earn.

  40. 40
    anteprepro

    Fuck: “because if I would ” should “because I would have hated”.

  41. 41
    shouldbeworking

    The legal requirements to be a legislator or school board member in Alberta are much less than those required to be a teacher. Guess whose salaries are suggested to be rolled back every time there’s a budget problem?

  42. 42
    athyco

    They all told me that they would love to do it, but they were too restricted by the schedule for preparing for the state standardized tests to take time out for an extra project.
    Now why in the world did the district waste our time with requiring us to come up with these projects when we were not given the freedom to implement them?

    magistramarla, my county once got a very similar project. The synchronizing seldom worked for us, either, but it made a great record on the lesson plan to footnote that it was developed in conjunction with the other classes. Nobody higher up actually seemed to give a damn that–with independent teachers not given time or extended planning to make it happen–it truly worked only serendipitously now and again. On occasion, I’d ask the science teacher or history teacher what they were covering so that I could develop a grammar exercise or writing assignment or resource/bibliography search reinforcing the material–then I’d tell my counterpart to footnote their lesson plans, too.

    The only time that I successfully synchronized lessons across the curriculum in a semester was when I was assigned to mentor a first year science teacher, and I was virtually writing his lesson plans for him in two-week chunks.

    But once when I began a section on satire, I was surprisingly lucky to run across a local paper’s editorial cartoon contest that could tie in to the art class doing sidewalk chalk art and the history class covering the Civil War, including Thomas Nast and his importance to editorial cartooning. Two of my students took 1st and 2nd in the contest, so the paper came out to report and photograph them and 118 other students in teams reproducing the top 30 designs on sections of sidewalk. The history class chose and sent the best letter to the city government requesting their assistance with awnings and refreshments, and the mayor responded with those and the fire department to spray hoses for the kids to run under in a side field after they’d finished the cartoons.

    The principal had initially thought to have the fire department wash the chalk off the sidewalks, but after he walked the cartoons (we weren’t “play playing” after all), he was content to let the elements take their course…which the ecology enrichment class documented. But…you get a new art teacher and a new history teacher the next year, and it doesn’t happen again without the administration taking part. Yeah, I know this feeling.

  43. 43
    llbguy

    You are just one of the innumerable people who loudly declare that you don’t give a fuck, and no one else should either

    No, I’m just saying there’s effective criticism and there’s complaining. But I’m not really in the mood to put my character in issue. I don’t see the necessity to debate those grounds.

    I think you’d find teachers a lot less inclined to complain if our jobs paid anything like what other similarly-educated professionals earn.

    When I was doing family law, I would have a lot of teachers as clients. Most of them were making double what I was making or more. Granted that’s just starting out, but it takes about 3-5 years for a lawyer to catch up to the average teacher in salary, and that’s with a greater debtload too. Because legal services operate on a free market, there is typically a higher ceiling available down the road. But don’t assume that every lawyer is making big bucks (BigLaw with its enormous salaries is actually the minority). Lawyers also have higher stress levels, greater depression rates, and put in more hours, on average, so I could play that card too. The point is that the grass is always greener, and we all have bullshit to complain about.

    But this shouldn’t detract from what is mainly agreement with this post. Yup, just because you’re a bigshot doesn’t mean your opinion should automatically carry weight in education reform.

  44. 44
    anteprepro

    No, I’m just saying there’s effective criticism and there’s complaining. But I’m not really in the mood to put my character in issue. I don’t see the necessity to debate those grounds.

    I’m not sure that you did say that originally, but fair enough.

  45. 45
    Avo, also nigelTheBold

    brucegee1962:

    I particularly liked the comment about “teaching will be obsolete b/c of technology. Students will all work at home.” Apparently this person not only has no experience with teaching, but also no experience with children.

    Nor any experience with people working from home.

    /nigel whistles as he “works” from home

  46. 46
    llbguy

    Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that lawyers don’t get pensions either and don’t get summers off. So that’s one more dig against teachers. Ahh, the bitterness of law. If anyone really wants to enter its own particular world of suck, this website has a pretty good cross-section of (humourous?) gripes: http://www.bitterlawyer.com/

  47. 47
    llbguy

    Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that lawyers don’t get pensions either and don’t get summers off. So that’s one more dig against teachers. Ahh, the bitterness of law. If anyone really wants to enter its own particular world of suck, this website has a pretty good cross-section of (humourous?) gripes:

  48. 48
    chigau (違う)

    nigel
    working from home is easy.
    I will get right on it after I:
    -do a couple of loads of laundry
    -sort the mail
    -make some bread and a nice stew for supper
    -shovel the sidewalk or rake some leaves
    -play with the cat
    -vacuum
    .
    .
    .

  49. 49
    ck

    I think there’s still valid input from the public at large for education. Debating how to teach is just foolish, but discussion about which skills students need but are not currently being taught may be valid (I could’ve benefited from instruction on long term and short term budgeting and meal preparation, for example). Sadly, it seems discussions always seem to be on how to teach rather than what. Of course, that kind of discussion suits those who wish to defund the entire endeavor nicely.

    It seems a bit related to Parkinson’s law of triviality (bikeshedding).

  50. 50
    chigau (違う)

    ck
    Thank you so much for that link.
    I have worked, off-and-on for the Gummint for almost 30 years and I’ve never heard of the bikeshed.
    First thing tomorrow, I’m posting copies of relevant paragraphs on all the billboards in the building.

  51. 51
    chigau (違う)

    ,

  52. 52
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @Ms. Daisy Cutter #25

    That’s nice. Quite frankly, I am so sick of arrogant healthcare professionals who wish the public would STFU and do as they’re told and never question the semi-deity in the white coat.

    The fact of the matter is they are medically trained, so yes, the un-medically-trained public should shut the fuck up and listen to them. Question them, sure. Understand what they want to do to you. You have the right to refuse treatment. But understand that they know a hell of a lot more than you and they have your best interests at heart. I do not hold with this ridiculous notion that is so common these days; that “It’s my body and I know what’s best for it”. No, you don’t; as a layman there’s a fairly good chance you barely understand how it works. So no, don’t treat them as “semi-deities in white coats”, but at least acknowledge that they know a damn sight more than you do.

  53. 53
    Anri

    That’s nice. Quite frankly, I am so sick of arrogant healthcare professionals who wish the public would STFU and do as they’re told and never question the semi-deity in the white coat.

    I don’t consider any of my doctors semi-deities, I understand that they are fallible humans prone to error and simplification just like everyone.
    I also recognize, however, that my ignoring their medical advice would be just as stupid as them refusing to defer to me about the best way to annotate a double-countersunk fine-threaded thru-hole. It’s possible the non-professional is right and the trained professional is wrong, but a lot more likely that the opposite is true.

  54. 54
    michaelolsen

    It’s possible the non-professional is right and the trained professional is wrong, but a lot more likely that the opposite is true.

    Yeah, my dad was one of the outliers. He actually managed to diagnose his own problem. He’d come home from a trip abroad and he was coughing and hacking and, well, pretty much close to death, when he, luckily, saw a documentary on the hospital tv about Legionella that happened to match all his symptoms. Turned out he was right and he was cured. But that is the DEFINITION of a fluke. Most cases, you go with most logical first, because if you don’t more people die in the long run.

  55. 55
    WharGarbl

    @thumper1990
    #50

    The fact of the matter is they are medically trained, so yes, the un-medically-trained public should shut the fuck up and listen to them. Question them, sure. Understand what they want to do to you. You have the right to refuse treatment. But understand that they know a hell of a lot more than you and they have your best interests at heart.

    In general, yes.
    But then I’ve family members who were “recommended” for some expensive dental procedures that, on getting a few second opinion for other dentists (on account of it being expensive), turned out to be unneeded.

  56. 56
    michaelolsen

    In general, yes.
    But then I’ve family members who were “recommended” for some expensive dental procedures that, on getting a few second opinion for other dentists (on account of it being expensive), turned out to be unneeded.

    So, you had a problem with a dentist and this means doctors who aren’t are… wait. And you got a second opinion that worked out? I gotta ask where are you from? Because there’s a HUGE difference in some countries between M.D.’s and dentists.

  57. 57
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    But then I’ve family members who were “recommended” for some expensive dental procedures that, on getting a few second opinion for other dentists (on account of it being expensive), turned out to be unneeded.

    um

  58. 58
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @WharGarbl

    In fairness Ms. Daisy Cutter did say “healthcare professionals”, and I think Dentists can be included in that.

    However, the fact that the other dentists disagreed with the first’s assessment that the treatment was necessary does not necessarily mean that the first was acting in bad faith. They could genuinely have believed the treatment to be necessary, and without knowing the full facts and their motivations I think it’s unfair to assume they gave a hyperbolic diagnosis for unethical reasons. They probably still had your family member’s best interests at heart.

    Secondly, I’m sure you realise that even if the original dentist was acting in bad faith it’s hardly indicative of healthcare professionals as a whole. Shutting the fuck up and listening is still the best policy in general, and as I said to Ms. Daisy Cutter you have the right to ask questions, to try and understand what they want to do to you, and even to refuse treatment if you so wish… but, on your own head be it.

  59. 59
    WharGarbl

    @thumper1990
    #56

    Secondly, I’m sure you realise that even if the original dentist was acting in bad faith it’s hardly indicative of healthcare professionals as a whole.

    I do realize that. It’s just that the fact that there exist a few bad apples make me occasionally paranoid about doctors.

  60. 60
    llbguy

    I almost forgot to mention that lawyers don’t get pensions either and don’t get summers off. So that’s one more dig against teachers. Ahh, the bitterness of law. If anyone really wants to enter its own particular world of suck, this website has a pretty good cross-section of (humourous?) gripes:

  61. 61
    iskenderoglu

    I try to keep my eyes and ears open, reserving my paranoia for mutual backscratching between doctors and drug companies. In roughly five decades of adulthood, I’ve fired a few doctors healthcare professionals mostly for not listening, and for trying to apply simplified cookie-cutter interventions. I do actually know more about my own history than any other person.

    Once in a great while, you run into the rare doctor with a true case of cephalo-colonic occlusion. Keep your clothes on, smile pleasantly, and do not book a return visit.

    Back on topic, somewhat: I am thankful that my education happened mostly before remote classes became fashionable. No amount of TV-studio style wizardry can match the bandwidth available in full-duplex meatspace. Unfortunately, that kind of hands-off teaching looks good on the bottom line of a spreadsheet.

  62. 62
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Rob Grigjanis, thanks.

  63. 63
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Thumper:

    But understand that they know a hell of a lot more than you and they have your best interests at heart.

    AHAHAHAHA. Yeah.

    Here’s just one link for you, you self-righteous assclown: http://fathealth.wordpress.com

  64. 64
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    Yeah, I’ll accept that they’re educated in medicine, but I am so calling bullshit that they have my interests at heart. I’ve been misdiagnosed, and had serious shit ignored in the past, and also been assaulted by a doctor who refused to stop a pelvic procedure that I informed him was likely to trigger my PTSD and also something I had a phobia of. Bullshit, you smug smegmapudding.

  65. 65
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Happiestsadist: Oh, and let’s not forget psychiatry, either. Because I’ve met some real winnarz who shouldn’t be in that profession. I’m sure the people here who deal with chronic pain could throw in their own examples, too.

    FTR, nobody is saying that all doctors are awful. But, you know what, Thumper1990? A shit-ton of them are, and the profession protects their own bad apples.

    Let me guess from your handle: 22- or 23-year-old resident who’s already developed a “gods in white coats” complex. If that’s true, you have a fuckload to learn, and I’d suggest you start by listening to patients instead of writing them all off as non-compliant malcontents.

  66. 66
    socalcommie

    “I’m in the aircraft industry. The word ‘safety’ did not come up once, anywhere…”

    No shit!
    I worked 40+ years in aerospace, and what I’ve seen flying is a dangerous practice.
    Cost/Benefit ratios preclude fixes that would save lives (planes crashing).
    Companys weigh the cost of a fix vs. ‘How much do we have to payout in wrongfull death lawsuites.’
    I no longer fly!

  67. 67
    freetotebag

    The lawyers-turned-politicians making the most important healthcare/science/teaching descisions for the country reminds me of the chastity-vowing clergy being the self-appointed experts on sex and marriage.

  68. 68
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @WharGarbl

    I do realize that. It’s just that the fact that there exist a few bad apples make me occasionally paranoid about doctors.

    Perfectly understandable, and I don’t mean to denigrate your fears. I’m just saying that you should try to see bad experiences in a wider context and not start to see all healthcare professionals as “the enemy”, or you’ll end up like Ms. Daisy Cutter.

  69. 69
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @Ms. Daisy Cutter

    That link is terrible, and I’m sad that that happened to anyone, but complications from a gastric bypass, a notoriously dangerous surgery, is hardly evidence of doctors not having your best interests at heart, is it?

    You’re not saying all doctors are awful; good. I’m not saying all doctors are good, and I certainly am not saying they are all deities. Your original comment implied that healthcare professionals in general were uncaring and not to be trusted; my reply was merely a critique of that attitude.

    And you got the age right (22), but no I’m not a resident, I’m not in any way affiliated with the medical profession, pharmaceutical profession or any healthcare profession in any way, and the most advanced medical training I have is basic first aid. Hence why I am in favour of deferring to a doctor’s medical opinion, because my medical knowledge is very basic and I am honest enough to admit to this.

    At what point did I write all patients off as “non-compliant malcontents”? Fancy providing a quote?

  70. 70
    sebloom

    Teachers — especially elementary — have always been “invisible,” probably because teaching young children has always been a predominantly female profession. I spent 36 years in elementary education and have never had much acknowledgement that what I do (as a volunteer now since I’m retired) is worthwhile outside of my colleagues, their spouses and a very few knowledgeable people

    I can’t count how many times I was asked, when I was working on my Masters degree, whether I was, upon completion, “going to teach high school now.” I usually answered that the Masters was in Elementary Education.

    The so-called “reformers” of public education (aka privatizers) are confident that, since they attended school they are experts. People like…

    Arne Duncan, the US Secretary of Education who has no education credentials, never taught in a public school…never even attended a public school…and is supposed to be the nation’s public school advocate. Teaching credentials? His mom runs a tutoring program and he used to hang out there.

    Bill Gates, who, while I will acknowledge is a really smart guy, left public schools after 6th grade and was in elite private schools until he dropped out of Harvard to become rich. His credentials? Money which is, apparently, the number one qualification for being labeled an education expert in the US.

    Michelle Rhee has no education training other than a 5 week Teach For America crash course in classroom survival — most likely focused on behavior modification. No background in pedagogy, child development, psychology, differentiation in the classroom, students with special needs, or any of the actual tools which educators need. She left after 3 years in the classroom. Credentials? Sure…take a look at how successful she was as Chancellor of D.C. Schools…and please ignore the cheating scandal under her watch. (The few — about 33% I think — TFA alums who stay in the classroom, btw, often become excellent educators given some experience, some mentoring, and some education courses).

    The list goes on…Eli Broad: Rich. The Walton Family Foundation: Rich. Joel Klein: Trained by Bloomberg in NYC: Rich, Rich.

    As a nation we’ve fallen for the corporate crap that our public schools are “failing” when the problem is that we have the highest child poverty rate among “rich” nations. Study after study shows that the problem with our children’s achievement is economic not academic. Why do you think that those people who are charged with finding solutions to the economic problems in the country are blaming “bad teachers” for our “failing schools?” Simple…they don’t want to take on any of the responsibility for abandoning an entire generation of children. We’ve lost the ability to feel ashamed at the fact that one fourth of our children live in poverty.

    “Bad teachers?” Sure there are. But most of them quit or are “counseled out” within the first 5 years. Education has a retention rate of barely 50% in the first 5 years of one’s career. Other than that, there are bad teachers, just like there are bad doctors and bad police officers. I’ll wager, though, that there are a helluva lot fewer bad teachers than bad politicians.

  71. 71
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Thumper:

    …and not start to see all healthcare professionals as “the enemy”, or you’ll end up like Ms. Daisy Cutter.

    Go fuck yourself, you privileged bag of suppurating assholes made sentient. Here: another link for you.

    It’s not like doctors would listen to me though. After all, they were doctors. Ultimately knowledgeable paragons of our society, to be questioned under no circumstances…

    Doctors and fatphobes crippled [the author's mother]. They told her to eat less, less, less. She ate less and less until she ate nothing – now she has premature osteoporosis as a consequence.

    And:

    At what point did I write all patients off as “non-compliant malcontents”? Fancy providing a quote?

    It was pretty damned obvious subtext from your whinging about those stupid patients who regard doctors warily.

  72. 72
    Emrysmyrddin

    To be honest, all right-minded Brits are a little paranoid about attacks on the NHS at present. It’s one of our country’s proudest humanitarian achievements, and at present we’re having to helplessly watch as it is systematically defunded, denuded and sold off in steaming visceral chunks to the sort of private companies that infest the US like ticks on a dog. I have no white-coat-as-god complex; hell, two of my grandparents died ‘in the system’. But my hackles automatically prickled at Daisy’s comment, and I’m a long-time lurker with great respect for the majority of her posts. Perhaps this is an undercurrent of UK vs. US healthcare culture at the moment?

    /end weeping over the dismemberment of the NHS

  73. 73
    Emrysmyrddin

    Let me additionally note that much of the denuding is being done by the right-wing press publishing vile propaganda about the NHS being chock-full of ‘uncaring nurses’ and ‘foreign doctors’. This may be a bit of a UK dogwhistle issue.

  74. 74
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @Ms. Daisy Cutter

    You can keep quoting one-off anecdotes of some doctors being shit until you’re blue in the face, you have yet to refute my claim that healthcare professionals know more about medical matters than you do and therefore the best policy is to shut up and listen (which, by the way, was a response to something you brought up and not actually my original argument at all, but since we’re on the subject…). As I said, you have the right to ask questions and even the right to refuse treatment, but on your own head be it.

    I don’t know what happened to you to make this such an emotive subject for you and quite frankly I don’t care, but if you could dial down the anger for long enough to read my actual argument rather than the strange strawman you seem to have constructed, that’d be fantastic.

    And in that same vein, if you go back and actually read my original statement which you replied to, you’d see that it was almost entirely about education, not healthcare, and that the single clause within a single sentence that actually referred to healthcare, to whit:

    I am so sick of hearing people who know nothing about medicine opine on how the NHS can do better…

    Was related to the OP and the theme of unqualified people setting policy for industries they do not understand. It wasn’t related to patients at all, as anyone with half a brain and an unbiased agenda could see. You are the one who somehow linked it, however tenuously, to doctors disparaging patients, presumably because that’s a pet hate of yours and you fancied a moan. You then went on to assume I was a resident (because obviously only healthcare professionals would defend the healthcare profession, right?). In other words, you started off arguing against a strawman and simply kept digging, and your arguments thus far have consisted of nothing more than stereotypes, inaccurate assumptions, anecdotal evidence and pouty invective directed at the nasty man who won’t take your doctor-phobia seriously. So, to sum up: some empirical evidence aimed at refuting my actual argument, please. Much thank.

  75. 75
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @Emrysmyrddin

    I’m with you; “One of our proudest humanitarian achievements” is a very good way of putting it, and I’d be incredibly sad to see it go. I do not want to get to a state of affiars where healthcare becomes a business.

    I also agree the media has a lot to answer for for the negative public image it has. And not just the NHS, the media is responsible for tarnishing the image of many an organisation and, in particular, public service through similar means. You are forever hearing people say “Well, the NHS/police, they’re rubbish aren’t they? Did you hear last month that old lady caught MRSA/they let that rape suspect go and he did it again? And now this week we have this man’s kidney transplant going wrong/this man only getting three months for child abuse?”. Leaving aside the fact that no one seems to know the difference between the NHS and the Ambulance service, or the police and the CPS, my argument is alwasy “Yes, that’s terrible and whoever is responsible needs punishing, but do you know how many people they have successfully helped this week? How many operations went off without a hitch/how many successful convictions they got?”. No one ever does, because the media only ever report the negative stories. I could do the same excercise with the fire service or any other public service, though i picked the two most commonly disparaged.

    I realise the media is a business and is there to make money, and therefore will report on things people will want to read and watch. It’s the way of the world and as long as news sources remain privatised it’s not really possible to change it… but I can’t help but rail at the unfairness of it all towards good organisations that provide a generally very good public service.

  76. 76
    Rev. BigDumbChimp

    And lets not forget scientists

    Those mother fuckers can’t be trusted.

    Haeckel and Piltdown and Dr. Yoshitaka Fujii!!

  77. 77
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Thumper1990, I’m not at all interested in reading your privileged, defensive crap, especially when you’re throwing around words like “emotive.”

    Let me guess: Straight, cis, white, able-bodied, male, not poor at all? Most knee-jerk doctor-stans are.

  78. 78
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Oh, and nice of you not to address HappiestSadist’s comment at all, considering that they’ve been assaulted by a doctor. Wanker.

  79. 79
    David Marjanović

    If a young man still has every newspaper, magazine, letter, piece of paper he has ever purchased or received stored in his house, we might consider recommending behavioural therapy. If someone else has fifty-one cats, seventy-seven dogs, forty-four guinea pigs, and a hamster, we would consider behavioural therapy a possible option. If, however, someone amasses more money than they, and the next three generations of their descendants, need to live in luxury, we bow down before this person as a minor deity and beg them to impart all of their wisdom whether it is applicable to reality or not.

    *lightbulb moment*

    It is neither a virtue nor a disorder. It is instrumentally rational to seek and hold power.

    But more and more and more of it?

    And becoming a Crazy Cat Lady of any gender or filling the house with paper doesn’t harm other people… (Except of course in the case of the original CCC, who throws the cats at other people.)

    What puzzles me is that everyone behaves as though there is not any data about the results of various educational methods. There are stacks of studies on virtually every aspect of schooling and what effect each variable has on students. The people at the conference do not need to be teachers to read and understand the literature, it is clear that they simply didn’t bother looking into any of it.

    I think that’s because it’s considered politics, and politics is considered a realm of personal taste where objective reality doesn’t exist – a separate magisterium.

    Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that lawyers don’t get pensions either and don’t get summers off.

    Teachers spend much of summer preparing for the next year. Similar things hold for other breaks, including weekends and afternoons. Teaching, unless done extremely superficially, is hard work.

    I also agree the media has a lot to answer for for the negative public image it has. And not just the NHS, the media is responsible for tarnishing the image of many an organisation and, in particular, public service through similar means. You are forever hearing people say “Well, the NHS/police, they’re rubbish aren’t they?

    That’s another case of transatlantic differences – in the US, the police are a lot shittier than elsewhere in the West.

    Oh, and nice of you not to address HappiestSadist’s comment at all, considering that they’ve been assaulted by a doctor. Wanker.

    That’s one case of a doctor not having (anything like) the patient’s interests at heart. thumper1990 is (implicitly) asking for statistics; he hasn’t denied the existence of assholes in the profession.

  80. 80
    David Marjanović

    CCC

    …which would be CCL, not the Campus Crusade for Cthulhu, if I could trust my letter recognition.

  81. 81
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    Ms. Daisy Cutter: Thanks for pointing out that the fact that I’ve myself been seriously harmed by doctors is being completely ignored. I guess I’m just too ~emotive~ to be rational about the subject. I guess this is what I get for being chronically ill and not deferential enough.

    Seriously, Thumper, the second you start actually talking to groups that suffer serious oppression, you’ll start seeing patterns of mistreatment by doctors. Trans* people denied care altogether, women and POC given fewer analgesics on the rare occasions they’re believed to be in pain, poor people simply denied care even up here in Canada. Doctors are human beings, and usually of relatively privileged classes, and thus are just as likely to have the usual bigotries as others. You cannot claim they have our best interests at heart here.

  82. 82
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @Ms. Daisy Cutter

    Translation: I don’t have a reply so I’m going to ignore your whole post. Gotcha.

  83. 83
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @Happiestsadist

    I really am very sorry, I completely missed that post.

    I’m sorry all that happened to you, and any mistrust of those in the medical profession is understandable in light of them. But again, I never said all doctors were perfect, I never said they can’t make mistakes (such as misdiagnosis) or that being a doctor makes you a good person or erases priveledge or bigotry and makes you more understanding. Trying to say that I did is a complete strawman of what I actually said. What I said was they know more about medical matters than you do, so listen to their opinions and take them seriously. That’s it, and I only said that in response to a complete misinterpretation of my first post.

  84. 84
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    (Bah, I wish I could edit posts; hit send by accident)

    cont’d…

    In regards to the assault you underwent, clearly that doctor did not have your best interests at heart, but as I said in the above paragraph I never said that individual doctors always do. I never said all doctors were perfect, and I hope that one was punished for what they did. But their thoughtlessness in not stopping an exam that was clearly causing their patient distress should not be allowed to reflect on every other member of their profession, let alone every memeber of the many diverse professions which can come under the heading “healthcare profession”.

  85. 85
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    So basically you’re attempting to throw out a “sorry you’re so irrational, it’s mean to judge all doctors based on the many that you’ve dealt with”? Gotcha. Look, I know and like plenty of them, some of my doctors have been amazing. But there is a damn good reason so many people are skeptical of doctors in general, when you look at the history. The treatment of POC in particular is rather notable. You actually can’t ignore that.

    Yes, they know more about medicine, but that doesn’t mean they can’t also be power-tripping assholes. And the fact that you’re more concerned about the good name of doctors in general than about the fact that I (and I’m not by any stretch unusual) was violated during a exam. That is fucked up.

  86. 86
    strange gods before me ॐ

    David,

    But more and more and more of it?

    Yes. “And though money has a diminishing marginal utility, as William H Gates Sr has pointed out its utility never drops to zero. That is rather one of the things that makes the aristocracy so dangerous; as long as they accumulate wealth, they never stop growing more powerful, and they can use their wealth to impose their values upon the world.”

    See also doi 10.1086/367774 .

    And becoming a Crazy Cat Lady of any gender or filling the house with paper doesn’t harm other people…

    So what? Violence can be instrumentally rational too. Since we’re talking about a capitalist context, remember that capitalism is a system of legalized violence.

    Cf. Arjun Jayadev and Samuel Bowles on guard labor, anything by Robert L. Hale beginning with Coercion and Distribution in a Supposedly Noncoercive State or Barbara H. Fried’s summary of Hale, anything by Ha-Joon Chang, Karl Polanyi’s The Great Transformation.

    That wasn’t a lightbulb moment you had; that was truthiness. It can feel very similar, as you know.

    That’s another case of transatlantic differences – in the US, the police are a lot shittier than elsewhere in the West.

    The police just mentioned were the UK police; and the media talking about them were the UK media.

    +++++
    Now back to how it’s terribly privileged to wish that the Tories weren’t dismantling the NHS.

  87. 87
    Ichthyic

    same thing here in NZ; Key’s National party working feverishly to literally capitalize on the last bits of socialism left here; closing schools and defunding education, selling off public assets piecemeal, privatizing parts of the health care system…

    it reminds me a lot of California during the Reagan years.

  88. 88
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Thumper
    Since you don’t want to discuss anecdotes, I’ll give you an example of a policy:
    Do you know why there is no mandatory training for doctors in Germany on how to deal with seriously and terminally ill patients?
    Because the Bundesärztekammer, the organisation of the medical professionals, fights tooth and claws against it.
    Now, what do you think:
    Does this resistance come from them just knowing this better than thousands and thousands of people who have been seriously harmed by doctors who were not able to tell somebody that they have terminal cancer in a dignified way?
    Does this resistance come from doctors having the best interest of the patient at heart who will certainly fare better by having the news delivered bluntly while already on the way out of the room than if they’re being told in a calm setting, with their family and maybe a counsellor at their side?
    That’s not an anecdote. It’s a systematic problem.
    Yes, the story of one person being treated shittily is an anecdote. Many such stories, on the other hand, point towards a serious problem. And a lot of malpractise stems from arrogance, from not admitting that they might not know enough for this case and needing help from specialists (just happened to my mother), to arrogantly dismissing symptoms patients describe (because no matter how long you study medicine, you can never ever know more about how the patient feels than they themselves) because they don’t fit with their diagnosis.

  89. 89
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Thumper
    I’m not trying to pick at you, honestly, but I really think you are naive here.

    What I said was they know more about medical matters than you do, so listen to their opinions and take them seriously.

    Sure, that sounds like sensible advice. But I’ll give you an example:
    My youngest daughter lacks a kidney, which was diagnosed already in utero. That meant that I spent an aweful lot of time at the university hospital women’s clinic for exams, usually with a urologist present for the ultrasound. Fortunately, and it already looked like that at that time, the other kidney is strong and healthy and so is the kid. Now, when I was getting close to the 9th month, at one of the appointments the urologist asked whether I was giving birth there.
    I said no, I wanted to give birth in the local hospital, with my OB/Gyn and my midwives, especially since I’m a fast birther and wouldn’t be sure if I could make it to the university hospital in time anyway.
    Then he tried to shame and to frighten me, told me that I was risking my baby’s life and so on and so on.
    Now, he was a urologist. He knew much better than me that there isn’t such a think as a “fetal urological birth complication.” In utero the maternal kidneys do the job and once the baby is out you need to see if the kidneys pick up the tab and whether the baby pees. So, while there can always be an emergency during birth, there was none that could happen due to lack of kidney.
    So, if he knows so much more about those things than me, why did he give me such bad advice?

  90. 90
    strange gods before me ॐ

    I checked; Bundesärztekammer does not translate to NHS.

    Just a friendly reminder.

    http://www.unitetheunion.org/news/cameronsbignhslie/

  91. 91
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    I checked; Bundesärztekammer does not translate to NHS.

    Well, I’m so glad I didn’t make that claim.
    Unless I did, of course, and totally forgot.
    In which case I apologize most humbly for my mistake.

  92. 92
    strange gods before me ॐ

    What a refreshingly literal-minded response.

    So anyway, why things happen: http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/02/25/i-know-this-feeling-2/comment-page-1/#comment-570995

  93. 93
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    Anyway, I think that going back to the original point, there are two levels that need to be differentiated:
    One level is that of society setting the framework.
    At this point, indeed, you don’t need an “expert” status.
    The second level is that of making concrete plans. Those should be made by experts.
    Some decisions, though they affect the concrete level heavily are inherently political decisions.
    How many universities do we want to have? How many people do we want to go to college in the first place? Do we want universities to have a broad range of courses or a small one? What should people with a bachelor’s degree be able to do? And so on, and so on. Same with healthcare.
    And it seems to me that the current problems in both areas aren’t so much due to lack of experts in stage 2, but very bad decisions in stage 1.

  94. 94
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @Happiestsadist

    So basically you’re attempting to throw out a “sorry you’re so irrational, it’s mean to judge all doctors based on the many that you’ve dealt with”? Gotcha. Look, I know and like plenty of them, some of my doctors have been amazing. But there is a damn good reason so many people are skeptical of doctors in general, when you look at the history. The treatment of POC in particular is rather notable. You actually can’t ignore that.

    Yes, they know more about medicine, but that doesn’t mean they can’t also be power-tripping assholes. And the fact that you’re more concerned about the good name of doctors in general than about the fact that I (and I’m not by any stretch unusual) was violated during a exam. That is fucked up.

    When did I say you were irrational? I didn’t, did I? Don’t strawman me, please. I actually think that, given your past experience, a mistrust of Doctors is to be expected.

    And look, both you and Ms. Daisy Cutter seem to be under the impression that I am denying prejudice of any kind exists in the healthcare professions. I’m not. That’s not what I said, and it’s not what I meant. Nor am I averse to people criticising the failings of doctors when they deserve it. All I said was that they are medically trained professionals; by dint of that fact they know more than you about medical matters, and that generally speaking they have your best interests at heart, and that therefore you should listen to them. I never denied prejudiece exists within the healthcare professions, nor malpractice or anything else. They are human, and are open to the full list of vices and failings that every other human is open to. But they are highly educated humans who went through 7 years of training in order to be in a profession that helps people.

  95. 95
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    Oops, blockquote fail. First two paragraphs of above are a quote.

  96. 96
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @Giliell

    That’s OK, I didn’t think you were :)

    I don’t know what the Bundesärztekammer is. I’m British and was talking about the NHS, but I would guess that they simply see no need for such training. I actually fail to see what training you’d need, unless there are documented incidents of insensitive handling or mishandling of terminally ill patients, in which case obviously the situation needs to be reviewed so as to identify particular problems and training implemented. Are such problems widespread? If not, why would they need the training? But I don’t see how that counters my point about individual doctors in general being medically knowledgable (self-evidently) and generally having your best interests at heart (you don’t train for 7 years in order to do a generally thankless job healing people, involving stupefyingly long hours, if your motivation is not to help people).

    To your second post; you know as well as I do that training and education simply means you have a much better informed opinion. His informed opinion was that you’d be better off giving birth at the University Hospital, presumably because he claimed that ” “fetal urological birth complication” could happen. I don’t know if that’s a thing or not, but it seems logical that a baby being born with only one kidney could potentially lead to complications, in which case the better equipped the hospital the better for the baby. What if your daughter’s kidneys hadn’t “picked up the tab”? Either way, he gave you that advice because he believed that to be best for you and the baby. Why else would he advise it? You disagreed, and you are perfectly entitled to. It’s your body and your baby… but you listened to him, didn’t you?

    Maybe my trust in Doctors is naive, I’m willing to accept that possibility. But, in the same way that I would respect the opinion of a phycisist on physics, or the opinion of PZ on biology, I am going to continue to respect the medical opinions of Doctors. This is the logical course to take. They are better educated than me, they do want to heal what’s wrong with me and until someone provides me with empirical evidence to the contrary I do believe that the chances of me encountering an incompetent or unethical doctor are slim. They might get things wrong, but over all my chances are better following their advice than not. I have the scars to prove that fact.

  97. 97
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    thumper

    . I’m British and was talking about the NHS, but I would guess that they simply see no need for such training. I actually fail to see what training you’d need, unless there are documented incidents of insensitive handling or mishandling of terminally ill patients, in which case obviously the situation needs to be reviewed so as to identify particular problems and training implemented.

    See, that’s why I think you’re naive.
    How would you tell somebody that they are terminally ill. Or that they are suffering from a severe illness that will destroy their lives. How would you handle that situation in a manner that does not harm the patient?
    If you now think “shit, I couldn’t do that, I wouldn’t be able to do that”, congratulations, you see why such training is needed. Only that doctors can’t shy away from such a task and therefore they’re doing it WRONG.


    Same thing with the damn urologist. He left the room, the Ob/Gyn looked at me, he said “what was that? The chief urologist didn’t say anything about that last week. I’ll ask him again. Did your OB/gyn say anything?” So, the medical opinion of the chief urologist, the chief Ob/Gyn and my Ob/Gyn was “bullshit”. The appropriate course of action was to see if the babe can pee and if yes, have a blood test some days after birth.
    So, you have 3 medical professionals on one side, and one on the other. But according to you I should have listened to him. That’s why I’m saying you’re naive. That one person was simply an asshole. If he honestly believed that something like a “fetal urological birth complication” existed he was wrong But that didn’t stop him from claiming I was trying to kill my baby.
    Oh, and by the way, I had several doctors telling me I should take homeopathy and treat my children with it. Should I listen to them because they’re Doctors, or am I justfied in saying that there are no studies out there that show that it works and actually it violates the laws of physics and chemistry?

  98. 98
    strange gods before me ॐ

    there isn’t such a thing as a “fetal urological birth complication.” In utero the maternal kidneys do the job and once the baby is out you need to see if the kidneys pick up the tab and whether the baby pees. So, while there can always be an emergency during birth, there was none that could happen due to lack of kidney.

    No, the woman’s kidneys don’t simply “do the job” for the fetus after the fetus’s kidneys develop. If they did, everyone would have Potter sequence. (Everyone who survived, that is; about a third of fetuses with bilateral renal agenesis die in utero.) By the fifth month, almost all of the amniotic fluid is fetal piss. Piss produced by the fetus’s kidney(s) and excreted through the fetus’s urinary tract.

    There are indeed such things as fetal urological birth complications. Hydronephrosis is one, and it happens to be associated with unilateral renal agenesis.

  99. 99
    ChasCPeterson

    Jeez, sg, with the pesky facts.
    It’s clearly important for Giliell to think she knows more than a urologist, and you are bullying her.

    Then he tried to shame and to frighten me

    Yes, I’m quite sure his intention in recommending a better-equipped hospital for your potentially problematic parturition was to shame and frighten you. ffs.

  100. 100
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    No, the woman’s kidneys don’t simply “do the job” for the fetus after the fetus’s kidneys develop. If they did, everyone would have Potter sequence.

    YEah, come, tell me about Potter’s syndrome. Because I don’t know about it.
    The woman’s kidneys do the job of blood filtering. The fetus’ kidneys do a different job. You know, just like the woman’s lungs do the job. That’s why Potter’s syndrome fetuses don’t die in utero from kidney failure.

    Hydronephrosis is not an accute emergency that can happen during birth and that will endanger the baby. If you actually had read what I’ve written with your brain on instead of your bullying mode (or had at least read the Wikipedia article) you would have noticed that there is neither a way to safely diagnose it on the spot apart from the ultrasound we already had and the blood tests that were done some days after birth. So, tell me again what this possible emergency due to kidney anomalies during birth looks like. And please, try to focus on the emegency part and the during birth time frame.

    Chas
    Yeah, so that one urologist knew more than all the others, especially more than his own boss. Now, since you are clearly the expert, maybe you can tell me what this emergency during birth due to only one kidney looks like that justifies claiming that “I risked my babys life”. Be specific. Show me the data. Show me a case. Baby that died or was severely harmed during birth because they had only one kidney. Show me the data how I actually ran a severe risk of killing my baby by giving birth in an ordinary hospital 20 km away from the university hospital. Please also take note that the condition didn’t even indicate a c-section, so yes, we’re talking about spontaneous vaginal birth.
    Put up the data or take your pal sgbm and shut up

  101. 101
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    BTW, how nice of the two of you to gang up on me on a thread that has almost died down so people won’t notice. Almost as if you had understood this as an instruction manual.
    Of course, abuses of doctors against women, especially pregnant women hardly ever happen. And if they happen, they surely couldn’t have happened against me, I mean, where’s my evidence?

    So, unless either of you two can show me the data that supports the statement that I “risked my baby’s life by having a spontaneous vaginal birth in hospital A instead of the university hospital”, this discussion is over.

  102. 102
    strange gods before me ॐ

    I will get back to the substance later; first the weird personal stuff needs to stop.

    instead of your bullying mode

    I thought Chas’s snark might be premature, as it seemed entirely possible that you would just respond substantively and not claim that anyone is bullying you. I guess I was wrong to have doubted him.

    I am not bullying you by arguing against your fact claims. You think my fact claims are inaccurate; that is logically possible, but even if I am incorrect, it doesn’t follow that I’m bullying you. The dichotomy is accurate/inaccurate, not accurate/bullying.

    Put up the data or take your pal sgbm and shut up

    It is illogical to indict me regarding Chas’s comment when his comment is after my last comment.

    BTW, how nice of the two of you to gang up on me

    Let’s be clear. I was commenting in this thread before you were. In my comment #86, still before you showed up, I began trying to call attention to how surreal it was that some people (not yet you) had made a big tangent out of thumper’s original comment. I commented twice more to that effect, #90 and #92, when you continued the tangent. Finally SIWOTI lured me into joining the tangent when, at #98, I decided to dispute some of your fact claims.

    Repeated for emphasis: I decided to dispute some of your fact claims.

    Were you “ganging up on” thumper by disputing his words while other commenters had also disputed his words? I’m inclined to say no, because there is no indication that you were coordinating with any of those other commenters. But if I were to use your apparent logic, I’d have to conclude that you were indeed ganging up on him, and even bullying him by disputing his fact claims.

    That would be a bizarre conclusion, no less bizarre than your claim that I’m somehow ganging up on you.

    on a thread that has almost died down

    So, if someone sees a thread that has almost died down, and sees a comment in that thread which they disagree with, they shouldn’t disagree because that constitutes ganging up on someone and bullying them?

    Again a bizarre conclusion, but since you didn’t comment in this thread at all until eight hours after Ichthyic’s comment, by your logic I’d have to conclude that you should not have commented at all.

    so people won’t notice.

    So you’re saying that not only am I bullying you by arguing against your fact claims, I’m deliberately doing it in a thread that I had already been commenting in, which is somehow not an appropriate place to argue against your fact claims.

    Would you care to tell me where is a better place for me to dispute your claims about fetal kidneys, better than the very thread where you made those claims eight hours after Ichthyic’s comment?

    Would you care to reconsider and maybe retract any of this weird personal stuff so we can disagree about kidneys in relative peace? I’d like that.

  103. 103
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    So, I see, you have no facts
    Goodbye

  104. 104
    strange gods before me ॐ

    Surreal.

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