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  1. #1
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    A personal observation...

    So I am relatively new here and I wanted to throw this observation out there and see what the forum opinion on it was.

    I have worked for 10 years in a basic research lab and I have worked closely with MD's and been apart of some important studies concerning my field of interest.

    Now over the years I have seen two different appoaches to science that for one concerns me and secondly gives me pause whenever I see new studies being performed on humans.

    The observation is this, MD's lack training in biological research and often over inerpret their results. They are more likely not to focus on the mechanism and often just focus on a positive result without understanding what led to it.

    I know I am kind of making a blanket statement here and I don't believe all MD's do this but I am concerned that this is more than just a trend in my own field. I have been apart of disproving therapies in humans and its striking to me how many come close to making it into our mainstream clinical practices.

    I know in my field what I am saying up above is nothing new and in fact we come to expect it but I am wondering if this is a more common trend.

    I should say also that I know plenty of MD's that actually do a fantastic job in their science but I still believe we have a problem as a scientific community in the training of our MD's to do quality work on the bench.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pacerlive View Post
    So I am relatively new here and I wanted to throw this observation out there and see what the forum opinion on it was.

    I have worked for 10 years in a basic research lab and I have worked closely with MD's and been apart of some important studies concerning my field of interest.

    Now over the years I have seen two different appoaches to science that for one concerns me and secondly gives me pause whenever I see new studies being performed on humans.

    The observation is this, MD's lack training in biological research and often over inerpret their results. They are more likely not to focus on the mechanism and often just focus on a positive result without understanding what led to it.

    I know I am kind of making a blanket statement here and I don't believe all MD's do this but I am concerned that this is more than just a trend in my own field. I have been apart of disproving therapies in humans and its striking to me how many come close to making it into our mainstream clinical practices.

    I know in my field what I am saying up above is nothing new and in fact we come to expect it but I am wondering if this is a more common trend.

    I should say also that I know plenty of MD's that actually do a fantastic job in their science but I still believe we have a problem as a scientific community in the training of our MD's to do quality work on the bench.
    An MD is really a technical degree not a research degree. Many MD's get the training necessary to be excellent scientists many do not. It is a problem not just for interpretation but for the nuts and bolts of the science that is done.

    As far as "disproving" therapies, I'm not surprised that these things get close. And I wouldn't be surprised if a few of them might actually still be viable treatments. There is a pressure to create studies that will make it look like the drugs work. And there is a sheer level of variability that means a treatment that works in a small subset may be a valuable asset. If you don't use the right population you may miss where a drug or other treatment is valuable.

    I think, as a scientist, throwing around the word proof, and disproof is very bold indeed.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPoon
    man with hair like fire can destroy souls with a twitch of his thighs.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pacerlive View Post
    So I am relatively new here and I wanted to throw this observation out there and see what the forum opinion on it was.

    I have worked for 10 years in a basic research lab and I have worked closely with MD's and been apart of some important studies concerning my field of interest.

    Now over the years I have seen two different appoaches to science that for one concerns me and secondly gives me pause whenever I see new studies being performed on humans.

    The observation is this, MD's lack training in biological research and often over inerpret their results. They are more likely not to focus on the mechanism and often just focus on a positive result without understanding what led to it.

    I know I am kind of making a blanket statement here and I don't believe all MD's do this but I am concerned that this is more than just a trend in my own field. I have been apart of disproving therapies in humans and its striking to me how many come close to making it into our mainstream clinical practices.

    I know in my field what I am saying up above is nothing new and in fact we come to expect it but I am wondering if this is a more common trend.

    I should say also that I know plenty of MD's that actually do a fantastic job in their science but I still believe we have a problem as a scientific community in the training of our MD's to do quality work on the bench.
    It really depends on their education and what their background is. For example, my school is known for churning out scientists and few practitioners because they feel that that's where medicine is headed. This seems to be the trend at all the top schools as well. As a result, most of the MDs from my school end up getting a PhD or already have double doctorates and because of our unique university-health network, there's also a greater incentive to do so. The application process seems to reflect this as well.

    However, I have seemed to notice what you're noticing as well especially from students in America (usually from the South) or smaller schools and osteopathic schools. A lot of them severely need rudimentary training in the scientific process as well as basic knowledge of statistics, biology and chemistry.
    Last edited by Freakazoid; 11-17-2012 at 01:29 PM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freakazoid View Post
    It really depends on their education and what their background is. For example, my school is known for churning out scientists and few practitioners because they feel that that's where medicine is headed. This seems to be the trend at all the top schools as well. As a result, most of the MDs from my school end up getting a PhD or already have double doctorates and because of our unique university-health network, there's also a greater incentive to do so. The application process seems to reflect this as well.

    However, I have seemed to notice what you're noticing as well especially from students in America (usually from the South) or smaller schools and osteopathic schools. A lot of them severely need rudimentary training in the scientific process as well as basic knowledge of statistics, biology and chemistry.
    From my perspective I see I number of MD's that want to practice science but they don't understand the process and they have this whimiscal notion of the process.

    I have seen this at major universities and I understand that Md's are not required to go through the same processes as PhD's but it ends up leading to sciensitist not getting funded who should and in some cases therapies that are questionable at best and in some cases criminal.

    It really does make me angry since the basic public deserve better from their tax dolllar and not to be lied to and used as guinea pigs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pacerlive View Post
    From my perspective I see I number of MD's that want to practice science but they don't understand the process and they have this whimiscal notion of the process.

    I have seen this at major universities and I understand that Md's are not required to go through the same processes as PhD's but it ends up leading to sciensitist not getting funded who should and in some cases therapies that are questionable at best and in some cases criminal.

    It really does make me angry since the basic public deserve better from their tax dolllar and not to be lied to and used as guinea pigs.
    Don't their co-workers read/review their research? Poor research reflects poorly on them and their institution as well. It also affects all future operating grants as well.
    Last edited by Freakazoid; 11-17-2012 at 02:49 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by flips333 View Post
    An MD is really a technical degree not a research degree. Many MD's get the training necessary to be excellent scientists many do not. It is a problem not just for interpretation but for the nuts and bolts of the science that is done.

    As far as "disproving" therapies, I'm not surprised that these things get close. And I wouldn't be surprised if a few of them might actually still be viable treatments. There is a pressure to create studies that will make it look like the drugs work. And there is a sheer level of variability that means a treatment that works in a small subset may be a valuable asset. If you don't use the right population you may miss where a drug or other treatment is valuable.

    I think, as a scientist, throwing around the word proof, and disproof is very bold indeed.
    So most MD's get involved in science when they do a fellowship and they are woefully under trained in how to practice at a level of a phD. Unfortunatley most translational grants have a MD approve of the therapy and unfortunately a lot of politices are involved and I see questionable therapies get approved based on bad science. I have seen major news cast show a story on stem cells as a therapy and know it has been disproven in lower mammals. Of course the major public doesn't know that it has been shown not to work but it gets funded anyway.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freakazoid View Post
    Don't their co-workers read/review their research? Poor research reflects poorly on them and their institution as well.
    Most people I work with are honest and are critical on the research but they represent a small portion or researchers that review the grants in my field.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pacerlive View Post
    So most MD's get involved in science when they do a fellowship and they are woefully under trained in how to practice at a level of a phD. Unfortunatley most translational grants have a MD approve of the therapy and unfortunately a lot of politices are involved and I see questionable therapies get approved based on bad science. I have seen major news cast show a story on stem cells as a therapy and know it has been disproven in lower mammals. Of course the major public doesn't know that it has been shown not to work but it gets funded anyway.
    I think there are more MDs with PhDs involved in science than vice versa. And forget the media, they sensationalize every scientific finding when the news is slow. Funding isn't based on public perception anyway, if it was we'll have more research grants for snake oil.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pacerlive View Post
    Most people I work with are honest and are critical on the research but they represent a small portion or researchers that review the grants in my field.
    What is your field?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pacerlive View Post
    So most MD's get involved in science when they do a fellowship and they are woefully under trained in how to practice at a level of a phD. Unfortunatley most translational grants have a MD approve of the therapy and unfortunately a lot of politices are involved and I see questionable therapies get approved based on bad science. I have seen major news cast show a story on stem cells as a therapy and know it has been disproven in lower mammals. Of course the major public doesn't know that it has been shown not to work but it gets funded anyway.
    Really you probably want to stop using that word. Evidence suggests that it will not work would be the way you want to put it (unless something has been replicated in numerous ways that prove is way too strong a word.)


    Popular newscasts on science are generally garbage. They present one study as absolute proof that something works or one study as absolute proof that something does not.
    Last edited by flips333; 11-17-2012 at 03:04 PM.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPoon
    man with hair like fire can destroy souls with a twitch of his thighs.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pacerlive View Post
    Most people I work with are honest and are critical on the research but they represent a small portion or researchers that review the grants in my field.
    Really? Honest and critical are a minority of those doing reviewing grants? That's just silly. The grant review process is alot more subjective than people would think but it's not like people are not assessing the science.
    Last edited by flips333; 11-17-2012 at 03:05 PM.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPoon
    man with hair like fire can destroy souls with a twitch of his thighs.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by flips333 View Post
    There is a pressure to create studies that will make it look like the drugs work.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pacerlive View Post
    Unfortunatley most translational grants have a MD approve of the therapy and unfortunately a lot of politices are involved and I see questionable therapies get approved based on bad science.
    Questioning mainstream medicine? Get ready to be ripped to shreds in 3, 2, 1...

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pacerlive View Post

    The observation is this, MD's lack training in biological research and often over inerpret their results. They are more likely not to focus on the mechanism and often just focus on a positive result without understanding what led to it.
    Well, there's a reason why MD is a separate degree than PhD. Its not all about the mechanism, a lot of it has to do with trends, epi, stats, etc.

    For example, MDs are trained in a particular manner. Lets say you have a paragraph long question, and part of one sentence says the guy recently visited Ohio, that's what the focus is right there. That's what gives you the answer right there. All the rest of the info in the question can be basically thrown out the window. You make the connection, Ohio area - histoplasmosis, and bam, you got ur answer. This is a big part in how MDs are trained. Cuz when patients come in, there's so much more to it than the mechanism, you gotta go through all this other stuff, including history,etc.

    It makes sense in clinical practice. I'm not saying its a flawless system, of course ideally we would all be trained in all aspects of everything, but that's just not a reasonable solution. Its just too much info.

    IMO, the bigger problem here doesn't seem to be how MDs are trained, rather that why are MDs being given positions that should be given to PhDs? Maybe saying something is MD approved just sounds better? I don't know

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by nastynice View Post
    Questioning mainstream medicine? Get ready to be ripped to shreds in 3, 2, 1...
    Are you equating this conversation with homeopathic medicine, or some reike nonsense? Please don't.

    I'd honestly love to see anyone come in here and rip me to shreds on clinical research. I need an ego takedown. I say whomever you are please bring it.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPoon
    man with hair like fire can destroy souls with a twitch of his thighs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by flips333 View Post
    Are you equating this conversation with homeopathic medicine, or some reike nonsense? Please don't.

    I'd honestly love to see anyone come in here and rip me to shreds on clinical research. I need an ego takedown. I say whomever you are please bring it.
    I'm equating this conversation with anyone suggesting that there possibly be any type of forces at work which may put profit over health

    *edit* what do you mean exactly by your second paragraph?
    Last edited by nastynice; 11-17-2012 at 05:02 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nastynice View Post
    I'm equating this conversation with anyone suggesting that there possibly be any type of forces at work which may put profit over health
    I can't imagine anyone would rip anyone for that That is a common sense opinion. If the idea is that researchers are squashing alternative medicine because it represents a competitor that's crazy.
    Last edited by flips333; 11-17-2012 at 05:04 PM.

    Quote Originally Posted by MrPoon
    man with hair like fire can destroy souls with a twitch of his thighs.

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