I have already linked to this 2004 article (“How Ignorant Doctors Kill Patients”) by Russell Blaylock , a neurosurgeon, but after rereading think it deserves a second link and extended quotation.
I recently spoke to a large group concerning the harmful effects of glutamate, explaining it is now known that glutamate, as added to foods, significantly accelerates the growth and spread of cancers. I [rhetorically] asked the crowd when was the last time an oncologist told his or her patient to avoid MSG or foods high in glutamate. The answer, I said, was never.
After the talk, a crowd gathered to ask more questions. Suddenly I was interrupted by a young woman who identified herself as a radiation oncologist. She angrily stated, “I really took offense to your comment about oncologists not telling their patients about glutamate.”
I turned to her and asked, “Well, do you tell your patients to avoid glutamate?” She looked puzzled and said, “No one told us to.” I asked her who this person or persons were whose job it was to provide her with this information. I then reminded her that I obtained this information from her oncology journals. Did she not read her own journals?
Yet, this is the attitude of the modern doctor. An elitist group is in charge of disseminating all the information physicians are to know. If they do not tell them, then, in their way of thinking, the information was of no value.
The incentive structure of modern medicine in action. If you do harm, you are not punished thus the high error rate . If you do good, you are not rewarded so why bother to think (“no one told us”)? The similarity to pre-1980 Chinese communism, where it didn’t matter if you were a good farmer or a bad farmer, is obvious. It is a big step forward that the rest of us can now search the medical literature and see the evidence for ourselves.