Risk Analysis and Critical Thinking: I am not a Medical Doctor (MD), but a broad skill stack and critical thinking skills are universally applicable
I (Lloyd) love pushback on my posts so long as it legitimately attempts to debunk weaknesses in my arguments, and not to attack me or my qualifications. Hence I block those who write to insult me, or to tell me I am unqualified to to write about medical issues (or whatever the topic may be) and in essence to “stay in my lane”. Such people are in mental prisons of their own making, to be pitied but unworthy of interaction.
I am not an MD and have no medical training, being trained in mathematics, statistics and computational science and operations research at Stanford University.
Advice from me on health might be spot-on and far superior to what you get from some doctors, and it might wrong. Follow my advice entirely at your own risk, and don’t ever take action based on my posts without doing your own research on top of it (and it is always worth consulting your own doctor and asking probing questions).
No one is right all the time, particularly the experts!
I’ve followed many areas of science and many other disciplines my whole life, having a very active mind (that sometimes won’t shut down and let me sleep!). Hence I have a broad skill stack from which ideas cross-pollinate, along with a realistic view of risk assessment* and human nature and the real world. Such things form the core of critical thinking and is the basis for truly independent thought.
* A classic failing in ALL fields is the failure of experts to incorporate risk assessment across disparate fields/concerns. But this happens even within a specialty, and this is scary-bad in medicine. My own personal experience with three doctors (a cardiologist and two internists) is that all of them get an 'F' for failing to ask critical questions before recommending a statin. One reversed himself 180° after I informed him of a basic test he should have asked about (CT heart calcium score). there were several other severe failings that relate directly to risk. And the two internists had never seen the single most important study pertaining to my situation.
I have tracked my own physiological responses for 20 years (hard data for many years, other times just observing and contemplating physiological reactions and puzzles). I am now integrating that knowledge with book after book by various MD’s in many areas. Things are lining up in interesting ways and coming together.
For health in particular, my vested interest is the very best health with long life for myself and my family and for my readers (first help oneself, then others!). At 55, such things take on new meaning that they did not at 40.
For one’s own health, delegating and deferring and assuming could be a fatal error.
Needing to be be right as its own priority is a fatal mistake. Critical to me is the actual right answer, whether or not I got it right at the start. If I get something wrong, it is a huge win to be corrected, a huge loss to not realize it. So making an error and getting pushback that debunks that error is a huge win. And that’s why I constantly monitor myself for false cognitive commitments, rationalizations, cognitive dissonance, and confirmation bias.
I have written many posts on health including COVID-19 and arteriosclerosis and statins and concussion with more to come on Vitamin K2 and magnesium deficiency, because strong evidence is emerging on those latter two as having been key to various health issues of mine over the years, and apparently for many people.
I don’t have time now to search through all my emails from MDs (many), but here is one recent example for those who need some reassurance that I am not full of shit.
MD (gynecologist) Paul I writes:
Thanks for all your help on this mask stuff. And as a physician who has reviewed for medical journals, I am most impressed with your analysis of the situation.
Although clinical training is definitely needed for hand-on examinations and surgical procedures, critical analysis of scientific studies requires a scientific background.
You are as well equipped to evaluate studies on respiratory protection as most physicians.
WIND: this comment relates to my COVID-19 coverage, including my coverage of masks / particulate respirators. Sad that the experts hurt us all badly. Now MDs are having to seek out and find their own masks!