The shamans of stupidity over at Huffington Post recently wrote a completely insane article whining about how unfair it is that science keeps winning. Orac did his usual best to illustrate how bizarre these folks are (and how wrong). But I also love the comments to the piece. They were an interesting mix of jaws hitting the floor in shock at the inanity, and “crank magnetism”, as other idiots piled on science, which despite its successes must somehow bow to an alternative magical belief system. This comment was the best (broken down for your convenience):
Having been trained in the rigorous field of rocket science, I am somewhat horrified at the lack of rigor in medical research, and the pathetic level of knowledge as to how the human body really functions. They have yet to figure out the causes of any of the major chronic illnesses, and are still looking for the origins of our immune system. It is arrogance and ignorance that seems to fuel the medical-industrial complex, and it is a travesty to compare the medical arts with science as I know it.
One of my partners was also trained in “the rigorous field of rocket science”, except he would never call it “rocket science” with a straight face. He left the field for medicine. But RS’s appeal to his own authority is cute—pathetic, but cute.
Primary prevention is all about avoiding the development of disease in the first place, thus also avoiding the medical community, except in the case of accidents or injury. In other words, the goal of primary prevention is that you never have to set foot in a doctor’s office or a hospital or take a drug. Primary prevention is an anathema to the medical business model, so it is not taught in medical school. In fact, it is not even a recognized discipline.
Primary prevention: you keep using that phrase. I do not think it means what you think it means. Primary prevention, as discussed in the space many times, is the prevention of the development of disease. We like that. Our goal in primary prevention is not to keep people from ever having to “step foot in a doctor’s office” but to keep our patients healthy and happy. Sometime, primary prevention requires significant exercise and dietary changes. Sometimes it requires drugs. Sometimes, a disease cannot be prevented at all. To say that prevention is “anathema” and “not taught in medical school” is once again wrong.