My life is a waste!

PZ may have wasted his life preparing students for medical school, and Skeptico may have wished that he had thought of this first, but what about me, a real physician, who, if EoR is correct, has utterly wasted his life actually going to medical school?

Read this excerpt from EoR’s Words to a Potential Medical Student and see what I mean:

Before you enroll for that medical course, consider carefully whether it’s the best path for your life. Perhaps complementary medicine is actually a better way to go, with many clear advantages…

The course is shorter. Never mind years of study and internship, you could become an aura healer in a weekend.

Insurance premiums are lower. Never mind high liability for high risk procedures – iridology has never been a high risk science. In the better alternative therapies you don’t even touch the patient. In the best alternative therapies the patient doesn’t even have to come to you.

Profits are higher. If you’re a homeopath, you can continue to make your remedies from a small amount of the original for all eternity. If you’re a naturopath you can just mark your supplements up at high rates.

More spare time. Since the tenets of complementary medicine never change, you don’t have to worry about keeping up with the latest medical research, new drugs and new procedures. The stuff you’ll learn on your course will be thousands of years old and hasn’t changed at all in all that time.

(Now read the rest.)

And here I spent four years in college, four years in medical school, eight years in residency and graduate school, and three years in fellowship to get where I am today, begging for grant money in an increasingly tight funding situation, fighting for operating room time, and worrying about one of my patients suing me.

Perhaps it’s not too late to choose this better way.

Of course, I’d never be able to look at myself in the mirror again, but that’s a small price to pay, right?


  1. #1 No One of Consequence
    July 5, 2006

    That would be great – Sceptical Surgeon turns to Alternative Medicine –

  2. #2 Skeptico
    July 5, 2006

    Yeah, but you’s soon miss all those checks from Big Pharma.

  3. #3 Barry
    July 5, 2006

    You could afford virtual-reality mirrors, which would make you look good.

  4. #4 PZ Myers
    July 5, 2006

    Don’t you feel like such an idiot now? All those years of pointless training, the huge debt, and I bet even now you’re struggling constantly to keep up with your field. Wouldn’t it be so much easier if you could just make it all up as you go along?

  5. #5 J Bean
    July 5, 2006

    Wouldn’t it be so much easier then when it didn’t work to be able to blame the patient for not believing or having caused damage beyond hope of repair by trying conventional medicine first or something?

  6. #6 Prometheus
    July 5, 2006

    You know, I have often thought the same thing! If I had only gone into homeopathy or iridology instead of going down the track I did, I’d be a millionaire by now!

    Of course, there would be the inevitable suicidal ideation, since I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I became a callous fraud. I suppose there’s a homeopathic remedy for that, isn’t there?

    As an aside, has anyone ever wondered what these quacks do when they get sick? I mean really sick, not just a “cold” or an unbalanced aura. Do you think that they sit in their bedrooms swilling homeopathic or naturopathic nonsense when their appendix is inflamed? Or that they get their backs “adjusted” when that crushing substernal chest pain flares up?

    Somehow, I doubt it.


  7. #7 BronzeDog
    July 5, 2006

    Somehow, I doubt it.

    And somehow, someone will surprise you.

  8. #8 Davis
    July 5, 2006

    Somehow, I doubt it.

    One of my housemates was dating a homeopathic practitioner for a while (during which time I nearly bit my tongue off trying not to point out the absurdity of it all). If she’s any example, the “doctors” are true believers just as much as their suck…err… “patients.”

  9. #9 Keith Douglas
    July 8, 2006

    (re: doubting it) Well, there are those studies which show that most users of quackery and what not also use actual medicine additionally. I suspect that might be true of the practioners as well, though I do not recall a specific study on such a matter.

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