Share your Covidiot stories

Not to mention breathing on their teachers.

The ranks of Covidiots now include everyone who bought into and promoted a story about a German doctor who committed suicide and supposedly left a note explaining that he could no longer be part of the “genocide” of Covid-19 vaccination. They also claimed he was in a video explaining that the pandemic was really engineered to establish world dictatorship.

The only problem is that this doctor, Thomas Jendges, 1) didn’t leave a suicide note, 2) had publicly expressed support for Covid-19 vaccination, and 3) the video they’ve been passing around features someone else, not Jendges.

The Usual Suspects in the antivax and loon community have of course embraced this bullshit.

The Covidiot Hits just keep on coming.

An ENT doc, Mary Bowden has resigned from Houston Methodist Hospital after it suspended her hospital privileges for spreading Covid-19-related misinformation on social media.

“I have broken free from Methodist and very much appreciate the flood of support I have received!” she wrote.

Bowden among other things promoted ivermectin for treating Covid-19, opposed vaccine mandates and announced a rather…curious action for someone who said it was wrong for physicians to refuse to see unvaccinated patients.

“On Nov. 8, Bowden tweeted that she would only treat unvaccinated patients at her private practice and tweeted, “vaccine mandates are wrong.””

The CEO of Houston Methodist cited her social media misinformation and said in a statement “She was also suspended for using vulgar and foul language while expressing her opinions. This inappropriate and disrespectful language violates our core values at Houston Methodist”

Despite this bit of pearl-clutching*, Dr. Bowden sounds like a real pip.

*Bowden’s practice is located in the swanky River Oaks section of Houston, so her adoring patients are probably clutching real pearls.

jackmanii, as a doc, can you please explain to me how these nut jobs got through med school and residencies? When I heard nurses spouting anti-vaxx crap, I decided nurses weren’t as well-informed as I thought. It’s hard to say that about MD’s, and the fact they’re spreading misinformation really has me worried.

The old joke:

“What do you call the person who graduated last in their medical class?”

“Doctor”

ETA:
“What do you call the person who graduated from medical school and subsequently had a severe mental breakdown and became completely divorced from reality?”

“Doctor”

MDs and nurses acquire a body of knowledge, clinical skills and a degree of ethical grounding during their training.

What didn’t exist when I went to med school was the teaching of critical thinking skills, how to evaluate published research and how to guide patients and themselves to avoid falling into the trap of pseudoscience* and woo. I suspect such training is still weak to nonexistent.

I’ve mentioned this here before, but every profession has a (usually) small minority of cranks who get disproportionate attention in mainstream and social media. What matters most is how the rest of the profession responds to these people. Lots of MDs and nurses and their professional organizations are engaged in the good fight against ignorance and self-interested misinformation. Hospitals, clinics and state medical boards** have to do more to weed out the dangerous outliers and outright loons.

*“I gave some of my patients X and they got better, therefore X works no matter what the research and large-scale clinical trials say.”
**get addicted to drugs, hand out lots of opiates without clinical justification or screw around with your patients and your license will likely be in serious jeopardy. Preach against vaccines and give ineffective treatments for Covid-19, not so much.

Thank you! Your excellent explanation answered questions that have perplexed me for a long time.

What is needed to convince medical schools to teach the critical thinking and evaluation skills you mentioned?

I had a doctor I’m convinced was that person. I dumped him. He wasn’t into woo, though. Is there a correlation between class standing and susceptibility to woo? You’ve got me wondering.

I knew a guy who graduated last in his Medical School class. He flaunts it; bragging that being 96th is still an honor, and he achieved his honor with very little effort. He also told people that in being last he saved someone else having that distinction, probably someone who would be bothered by it.

Holy frick. That’s scary. I had a teaching colleague who bragged about getting a 14 on the ACT. (For those east of the Mississippi, the top score is 36, and 21 is average.) Thank heavens he didn’t go to med school.

Not sure, but I am confident that some doctors see a lot of money if they embrace woo. So there is probably a correlation between greed and woo. I think many of the woo folks don’t actually believe it themselves - they just believe in the power of the cash.

I think you’re right. I’ve tried to tell me anti-vaxx woo acquaintances that there are grifters selling woo and that Big Herba is a real thing, but of course, they refuse to believe me.

Known to his peers as “Dr. Irrelevant”?

Beats me. It’s probably for the same reason that similar badly needed skills aren’t taught starting in grade school - too many competing interests.
You’d think that some rote memorization and other bullshit could be dumped from med schools’ curriculum in favor of these skills for the real world.

I have wistfully wished I had no scruples, because it would be so simple to make a killing selling woo to the gullible. Scary simple. It’s not surprising that so many people have jumped in. Sad, but unsurprising. Damned scruples.

Isn’t there a vaccine against scruples now?

I cannot say, but my ex-wife, a Doctor of Audiology, had a lot of patients asking about ear-candling, to remove earwax. Ear-candling to remove earwax is woo, but so many patients were asking, that she started to wonder about it.

So, she decided to try it. But she did it scientifically: she used her clinic’s video otoscope to make sure she had no wax in her ears, and what little there was, was taken care of by a colleague. So, with ears free of wax, off she went to the ear-candler. Note that the ear-candler did not know that she was an audiologist, and she paid in full for the appointment.

Well, the ear-candler found gobs and gobs of earwax, which she came home with. As she said, “that’s a lot more than can be contained in an adult human’s ear canal,” and when she took it to a lab, it was identified as just plain beeswax. Apparently, the candles are pieces of cloth soaked in melted beeswax before they are formed into a candle shape, where the beeswax solidifies; and the cloth burns while the beeswax melts. End result: no cloth, but plenty of beeswax, which is proudly displayed as the removed earwax. She told all subsequent patients who asked about ear-candling that it was a fraud and a ripoff, and that they should not give their money to charlatans who claim that they can remove earwax through ear-candling.

I don’t know where she finished in her graduating class, but I admired her for using the scientific method to disprove woo, and to inform her patients of her experience and her findings. If more medical professionals adopted her attitude, and read/studied/experienced the science, then fewer would be promoting the woo.

I was just thinking yesterday of that fraud where people are told to eat clay, and then told how the proof all those toxins were removed from their system is that their poop is so clay-ey.