Tuesday, January 09, 2007

BMJ Survey

The British Medical Journey has an online survey of the top 15 medical advances since 1840. EoR was shocked to discover that homeopathy, acupuncture, kinesiology, dolphin-assisted healing, quantum-anything nor aura cleansing were listed. Instead, there are things like evidence-based medicine and vaccines.

It's obviously just a Big Pharma plant.

EoR voted for evidence-based medicine.


  1. Liz from I Speak of Dreams. I dithered between vaccines & sanitation, and finally plumped for vaccines.

    If they'd had an entry for "widespread acceptance of scientific method" that would have gotten my vote.

    BTW, Happy National (US) Delurking Week to you!

  2. It is a close call. Evidence Based Medicine wins generally because most of the other advances were derived from evidence-based methods, even if the term wasn't coined at the time. The BMJ summary supporting EBM's nomination was weak and obscure and didn't point this out. However sanitation on its own was probably the most effective, if somewhat mundane, advance in medicine and public health.

  3. Hi Liz. I agree. "acceptance of scientific method" is better but "evidence-based" was almost there.

    Delurking isn't like delousing is it? Is it safe?

  4. I dithered between Germ Theory, Sanitation, and psycho-theraputic drugs (Chlorpromazine). The first two saved vast numbers of lives, the third initiated useful treatment of mental illness.

    Germ theory won my vote because it was a necessary base for:
    Oral rehydration therapy
    Useful Anaesthesia (so the surgical patients dont die of infection)
    Safe water supply and intelligent sanitation.

  5. Good point, davidp. I finally voted for vaccines. The topic is close to me just now as I have an increasing number of neighbors and patients who are falling, in whole or in part, for the criminal stupidity of the anti-vaxers.

  6. Evidence Based Medicine is more about the economics of rationalising expenditure on medical treatments than scientific method in general. I voted for antibiotics. Antibiotics save us from death by most urinary tract, wound, post-surgical, postpartum, dental, lung, skin etc infections. It has at least as much significance as anaesthetics do. It can stop epidemics in the same order of magnitude as vaccines.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.