Barry Blackwell: Adumbration: A history lesson - Samuel Gershon’s response to Barry Blackwell’s reply
I am deeply indebted to Barry Blackwell for his response to my concerns about medicine as a discipline. His response made the picture clearer and with more impact. We are both talking about how medical teaching is influenced by medical care, both its quality and availability and the newest limitations in medical management. it’s The influence of corporate trends in medicine is almost complete and dictatorial and its policies affect every component in its domains. Barry and I mentioned briefly the effects on medical publications. These also cover medical publications from textbooks, once considered the bibles, in which one could find the unbiased truth to scientific journals that cover a very wide range of specialization, quality and reliability, etc. Colleagues! This is where the truth is supposed to be presented for open discussion and debate and hopefully to improve care and produce cures. There are now other publication and information sources of uncertain reliability; magazines with target populations; and television and the new electronic gadgets for communication. ALL of these can be, and are influenced by financial interests which impinge on all of the above core factors in health care. I am the co-editor of a scientific journal and have been for the last 18 years. The journal was funded by the publisher. That is, paid editorial staff in our office, paid rent for office space, paid office equipment including telephones and other forms of communication. So, now we are down to Zero funding from the publisher and the co-editors have to produce the journal and maintain scientific quality and integrity. I must tell you that this cannot be done. This is not just my story; it is the story throughout the medical publishing industry. The consequences affect every aspect of the quality of scientific information. So, be sure there is a cost and there will be a true trickledown effect on the quality and cost of medicine as a discipline. I invite others to consider these questions and raise the necessary alarms!
December 31, 2015