Cowboys of Research

Mar 20 2015 Published by under Uncategorized

I am trying to be generous and acknowledge that at a medical meeting of mostly MD's all surgeons are not arrogant, and that at a clinical meeting of non-physician clinicians, not all MDs are jackasses. Some of my best friends. Some of the best people at  Scientopia....


A surgeon comes up to someone (me) after the following interaction:

PT: What was the question being asked in this study?

BSD: There was no question, but we just thought this might be interesting.

and accuses "scientists" of "hounding the surgeons out of the meeting" because I "harshly critiqued" a presentation, which to my eye, was devoid of research. The critique was asking what was the question in the study. I find I am not in generous mood. Note that abstracts are due almost 6 months in advance. Time to turn a "interesting case study" into something more scientific, should one get the urge.

I did try to go talk to this surgeon later. I proposed that it might be worthwhile (for the society, in my view) to consider what is research, and what we want to see happen at this meeting. He told me that he had done "the whole PhD route, and knew what research is" and, that he was "too busy saving lives" (really, he said that) to waste time on, well, essentially, talking with me. He did apologize later to me, and said that "I shouldn't take it personally". Ha. How the fuck should I take it?

I get even less generous when this surgeon had just finished evisecerating a speaker in a very public presentation, to whit:

BSD (to young trainee): Do you know the difference between a symptom and a disease? Why are you wasting our time with this presentation?

I went to talk about this with another woman of my cohort, ie. she's been round the block a couple of times. Her view is that people like our surgeon friend cloak their bully-ways in a guise of "I am saving the world. I am saving lives, and therefore whatever else I do is excused". Fucking Cowboys (which I recognize is an insult to cowboys).


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