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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 19725

Warning: This library includes all items relevant to health product marketing that we are aware of regardless of quality. Often we do not agree with all or part of the contents.


Publication type: Electronic Source

Auron M
What to believe?
Meds-Peds Hospital Medicine 2011 Nov 18

Full text:

This has been a rough week for all of us involved in Perioperative Medicine. As hospitalists in a large academic medical center we take care of a large perioperative clinic that sees 16,000 and more patients every year.

In order to ensure optimal care of the patients, we use evidence based guidelines to provide the safest medical decision making.

One of the most prolific authors in the field is Dr. Don Poldermans, a very well respected and renowned cardiologist who we had the fortune of knowing as he has visited our institution for the Perioperative Summit which is now hosted by the University of Miami.

In November 16, the University of Erasmus of Rotterdam asked Dr. Poldermans to leave. This on assumptions of misconduct in research. This is a very frail moment as for any institution to take such a decision is not easy and decisions like this are not taken lightly.

For us is very hard; I just gave a lecture in Mexico City last weekend on perioperative medication management and I cited the DECREASE studies findings supporting the current evidence to use betablockers, especially the ones recommending starting low dosing with gradual increase and preferentially within 1 to 4 weeks of surgery.

The media has been taken by assault and all of us feel like orphans. Can we trust the data? Is this a precipitated decision by Erasmus? Everybody should be cautious in times like this and careful in not destroying the prestige of somebody who has been an authority in the field and a good man.

I look forward to follow closely what happens and ensuring that the evidence we use is still valid or not. We should be careful in not labeling him until further clarification occurs either from him or Erasmus.

These are some links to these news:

Sigh!…….What to believe?


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Cases of wilful misrepresentation are a rarity in medical advertising. For every advertisement in which nonexistent doctors are called on to testify or deliberately irrelevant references are bunched up in [fine print], you will find a hundred or more whose greatest offenses are unquestioning enthusiasm and the skill to communicate it.

The best defence the physician can muster against this kind of advertising is a healthy skepticism and a willingness, not always apparent in the past, to do his homework. He must cultivate a flair for spotting the logical loophole, the invalid clinical trial, the unreliable or meaningless testimonial, the unneeded improvement and the unlikely claim. Above all, he must develop greater resistance to the lure of the fashionable and the new.
- Pierre R. Garai (advertising executive) 1963