So, I just want to start by acknowledging the fact that
there is an election this year, and I should be writing sarcastic and snarly
things about that, but, given that the current Republican frontrunner feels the
need to talk about how he could shoot someone and not lose a supporter, I think
my words are a pale substitute for the real thing.
Anyway, given that I’m not up for that conversation, I
thought I’d turn my attention to something that I find equally offensive:
What is a Facebook doctor?
It’s a person who is not, in fact a doctor, but thinks that Facebook
makes him or her one. These are the
people who are constantly forwarding the articles about how vaccinations really
DO cause autism, and that the government made cancer in a shady back-room deal
with big pharma. They are always
“curing” themselves and loved ones with the simple tools of one guava, some
coconut oil, and arrowroot.
Don’t get me wrong, I find no fault in alternative
medicine. Where I find fault is in
practicing medicine without a license.
Now, I myself am not a doctor.
Scratch that, I am a doctor. A
LAW DOCTOR. And, given that I spent four
of the toughest years of my life learning all of the shit I needed to know to
be a law doctor, I can tell you, without a doubt, that I know a lot more about
the law than some doof who thinks that “law school” and “Wikipedia” are
virtually synonymous. And I can also
tell you that “researching” the Constitution does NOT mean reading someone’s
blog and giving a thorough listen to what Rush has to say. Research means actually digging up cases and
reading them – unabridged – and then reading the cases that those cases led to,
reading all of the notes and comments, reading scholarly articles written in
peer-reviewed publications, and repeating that until you actually understand
the personalities of long-dead Supreme Court justices based solely on their
Applying my understanding of
lawyering to doctoring, I am going to surmise that medical school consisted of
more than Googling, “What is this rash on my leg?” and just going with
that. So, I find it super – super - annoying
when folks really forcefully insist that they’ve “done the research” about why
no one should ever even LOOK at a cow, much less eat its meat or milk, why
everyone MUST start their day with lemon water and a fucking neti pot, and how
prescription medicine is the work of the devil.
And I gotta tell you, I am not a fan of the taking of the medicine,
myself. But I am, in fact, a fan of being happy and healthy. I will also tell you that I did a fun 6
months of trying to “cure” my thyroid disease without medicine, and all I ended
up doing was giving myself additional problems that I can now never fix. I’m certainly not saying that diet,
lifestyle, and environment play no role in disease. We can look at Type II diabetes,
hypertension, some types of depression, heart disease, and on and on and say,
“Yeah, diet, lifestyle, and environment may have contributed here.” We can even implement diet, exercise, and
lifestyle changes. BUT THAT DOESN’T MEAN
THAT MEDICINE WON’T ALSO HELP FIX IT.
The worst thing though, and I mean the worst, is that these
Facebook doctors have friends who have real illnesses. Cancer.
Heart disease. Depression. Who are looking for something to make
themselves healthy and whole. And that,
purposely, or not purposely, they are telling their friends, “Don’t seek actual
help. I know better than that.” Which is such arrogant, narcissistic, and
frankly, weird shit, I can hardly comprehend it. It does absolutely no good to tell your
friend with cancer that, if only they had eaten enough turmeric, they might
have a different outcome. Or linking to
articles espousing a conspiracy theory that homeopathic cancer doctors are
being murdered by pharmaceutical companies.
Or to tell their friend who is depressed that medicine will just make
them an addict. Which is worse, being “addicted”
to Prozac, or losing your job, family, happiness, and maybe even your life to
And that’s the thing about
real, meaning Non-Facebook, doctors.
They know there’s not one cure; that every person is different, and
complex, and worthy of actual attention, not just Facebook platitudes that
serve no purpose but to serve the poster’s own ego.