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Dr Peterson retiring from medical director at WPI

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by Kati, Apr 28, 2010.

  1. Otis

    Otis SeƱor Mumbler

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    Cort,

    You've articulated some misgivings I've had for a while about Dr. M."s somewhat combative style and propensity to make off the cuff remarks, often about unpublished data, that confound many of us.

    From my observations Dr. Peterson he's not a man who seeks confrontation and may have been left in rhe position of defending one too many positions with which he didn't agree for the sake of that WPI, and more importantly for him - I think , CFS patients. He's been our champion for more than 25 years and has my ultimate respect. There is no replacing Dr. Peterson.

    I can't see a complete cutting of ties as part of a planned retirement. Perhaps he was dripping hints about this departure.

    I too hope we see transpareny Cort referenced.
  2. Andrew

    Andrew Senior Member

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    I can see the one about him being more conservative. I can also see the possibility that he thinks the research is too narrowly focused on XMRV. But another possibility is he felt his practice was suffering.
  3. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    He is very conservative- he's never been very public. Didn't have a website, wasn't going around doing talks. He was really the big mystery man of the 'biggies' for me. I actually thought he was probably really shy but he did great job on the podium at the Reno conference- very relaxed in front of 500 people. I concluded that he's not shy at all - he just doesn't promote himself; he's puts his head down and works.

    He was about to have a brand new practice in a sparkling new facility with technology I can't imagine he has access to anymore. Honestly, I think his practice would've only been upgraded substantially. What an opportunity it should've been for him! He was going to work on translating research findings directly into treatments. That's all gone now. He's returning (or staying in, rather) that office he's been in for 25 years I guess it is. His potential for making a difference just dropped dramatically.

    Just think about the costs of losing him - twenty five years working on the pathogenic side of ME/CFS... all that experience....all that knowledge and intuition.....whatever it was I'm amazed that they couldn't work it out - simply amazed....
  4. JillBohr

    JillBohr Senior Member

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    This does not bode well. I am guessing that it is either money or Dr. Peterson is not well. Either way, it does not look good. I wonder if they were planning on getting a lot of research grants after the XMRV paper was published in Science in 2009.
  5. Kati

    Kati Patient in training

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    The man has right to privacy and doesn't need to mention his private life publicly. It is unfortunate that people speculate and send the negative vibe that it's not good for WPI. WPI is committed to go through with their plan of building a #1 research center. Dr Mikovits is committed more than ever to find a cause for CFS.

    Please do not tarnish the reputation of WPI without reasons and proofs to do so. Dr Mikovits, Mrs Whittemore and Dr Peterson have given a lot to us, continue to do so in their personal way and we have to cherish that and support their efforts, for without WPI, we are doomed to many many more years in bed.

    Now how can we give thanks to Dr Peterson and his wife for continuous years of giving?
  6. Frickly

    Frickly Senior Member

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    Peterson leaving.....now Myhill....this is not a good day. This is the first time in quite awhile that my confidence in our future has wavered.

    Kati, we posted at the same time. I support WPI 100% but can't help but worry. I don't think they are getting the funding they need and now the other half of WPI is leaving and no one understands why. Yes, lets give thanks to Dr. P.
  7. Koan

    Koan Be the change.

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    Thank you Kati for saying everything I was struggling to articulate as I read this thread.

    Koan
  8. bluebell

    bluebell Guest

    The speculation is *due* to profound respect for Dr. Peterson. He's a smart guy and understands the way his patients would take this news, no?

    This is a Shakespearean situation and it's just not possible for some of us on the edge of our seats re: xmrv to think it is no big thing. If WPI was a publicly traded company, its stock would have plummeted. The silence speaks volumes, none of it particularly appetizing. I still support both sides of our divided house, but hope the parties come out with something better than that letter.

    P.S. Thank you, Dr. Peterson. You are awesome and totally deserve the license plate.
  9. Lynn

    Lynn Senior Member

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  10. Gerwyn

    Gerwyn Guest

    I think it is his health.There have been rumours about it for some time.with the positive paper to be presented in Prauge, proving that contamination is not scientifically possible and showing that XMRV raises cytokine levels upon infection and phenotypic changes in leucocytes,it would be an opportune time to leave.I also understand that he wants to train an assistant to take over his practice so that his experiences in treating patients with ME are not lost
  11. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    :) What was the license plate?
  12. julius

    julius Watchoo lookin' at?

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    Nobody is saying anything bad about Dr P. This speculation is totally natural with something this important when there is not a whole lot of information. Please stop asking people to stop.
  13. Andrew

    Andrew Senior Member

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    What would have been the impact on his patients to have to drive to Reno? Or if he did not close his practice in Tahoe, what would be the impact on his position as medial director if he had to split his time between WPI and his private practice in Lake Tahoe? Or maybe the stress of having two jobs was starting to weigh on him. At the same time, the absence of any indication that he will stay on as consultant is very troubling. But maybe it is such a given that they didn't think to mention it.

    But there is no denying what will be lost if he is not involved in some way. Just having someone with that amount of knowledge sitting in on meetings is invaluable.
  14. Kati

    Kati Patient in training

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    I take offense when people say this is bad or it doesn't look good for WPI. Maybe it's the wording? Dr Peterson can't do it all by himself. And saying it looks bad for WPI is damaging to their reputation especially that this is a public forum showing up on google every day.
  15. usedtobeperkytina

    usedtobeperkytina Senior Member

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    Take a chill pill.

    Do not expect Peterson to make any public statement. As Cort said, not his style. He is narrowly focused on one mission and has been for decades, getting his patients well. And that is HIS patients. He avoids the press, and has since he was burned by press in the 80s. He was scorned by other doctors. And for his relationship with government.... well..... obscenities are not allowed on this board. Peterson does not see himself as a CFS public figure. He sees himself as a doctor with sick patients that have been rejected and abandoned by so many others. That is his narrow focus, always has been.

    As said, there are many reasons why this could be, personal among them. And I am not worried.

    I posted this on Facebook under the announcement:

    Dr. Peterson, I wish you peace from being in the front lines of our battle. You have been a gallant soldier for decades. I hope now that even though you are still keeping hold your loyalty to your patients, that you can also find some time for personal interests. You deserve it. Let the others build on the foundation you created.

    I hope some day a "based on real" life movie is made to show the heroism of a man who gave up so much to fight for the sick and weak.

    "Thank you" does not seem good enough. But it is what I can give. And know I give it from the depth of every malfunctioning cell in my body.

    Tina
  16. usedtobeperkytina

    usedtobeperkytina Senior Member

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    Here is my focus. Am I reading it right that WPI is now using ME much more than CFS? I haven't noticed that before in communications. Study was CFS. Notice the way it is phrased in the first paragraph. It is called myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME/CFS). That seems different to me from past communications that used CFS as main label for the illness, which is way it is here in US.

    Tina
  17. kat0465

    kat0465 Senior Member

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    I agree Tina,
    i think he's spent so much time and energy on his Patients( and he has LOT) maybe both would be too much, and he dosent want to leave all those people he has been
    helping for so long. His practice is tough enough. could you Imagine having the responsibility of WPI also.
    I'm hoping he hasent worked himself to exhaustion, sometimes i think we forget Dr's can get sick and Tired also.
    I'm not worried, i think we till have Great People at WPI, and who knows who might be coming down the Pipe we dont know about yet.Yes were all kinda frustrated cause we want some kind of treatment or cure
    like Yesterday!!! but i have no doubt it will come. we just have keep hanging in there.
    Kat
  18. Cort

    Cort Phoenix Rising Founder

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    Sharpening Their Knives. The WPI is loved in the Patient Community but they're really kind of embattled in the research community. Until we get positive studies coming out I imagine that the standard researcher does not a favorable impression of them. They came out of nowhere with a paper in Science!

    Can you imagine how everybody else felt about that? Good - very, very good researchers who have been working hard for decades - who know they will never get published in that journal - see this little Research Institute, that hasn't even been built yet, lands an article in the biggest journal in the land.

    Not only that but they basically state that they have 'the answer' to one of the knottiest problems in medicine...and that their finding may also apply to an even bigger problem - autism. The news flies around the world - articles in all the major outlets appear...and everyone is saying....WP..what? WP..who? Vincent who? Who are these guys?

    Then as time goes on their Research Director publicly lambasts other researchers suggesting, as Dr. Raccinello so vividly put it, 'the rest of the world doesn't know how to do PCR'.

    Can you hear the knives sharpening? They were already jealous....

    Then a series of problems occurs. The diagnostic test comes out early -and is subsequently changed....the makeup of the patients in the cohort is not what the Science paper said... the PCR tests seem to work at one point and then not anymore......Dr Mikovits is very encouraging to the patient community like no one we've ever seen before but her language in her emails about researchers - some of which get transmitted into the public - is very strong.

    A Different Tack - Recognizing that they're a small unknown Institute that, above all, needed to win the trust of their peers, they could've and really should've, kept their heads down and maintained as low key and professional an attitude as possible. Think what a boon it would have been for them in the research community to show that they could maintain their cool in the midst of this huge media uproar.

    For the most part I think they did couch their official statements correctly - they were careful not to overstate - and qualified their assertions...the website was fine but then this other stuff would come out - which, naturally, got more attention.

    Betting the Farm? - My gut feeling is that it would really behoove the WPI to be right about XMRV because they're invested really heavily in it in alot of ways. If it doesn't work out they may not get support on other issues and, if that's true that's really a shame because the Institute had, and still has, a solid non XMRV research effort. That's what it was built on - they got good federal and state funding for that...they have alot of great ideas.....it would be horrible if the granting agencies start turning up their nose at those things...because they don't like the way XMRV was handled.

    If XMRV works out then stylistic problems and breaches of etiquette are not so important[/U]...we've all probably heard of prickly researchers who are at the top of their game despite their breaches of etiquette. As they say winning solves all problems!

    I would note that what Dr. Peterson did does not necessarily mean anything about XMRV itself. To some extent the XMRV question is out of the WPI's hands. they kicked it off and the other study groups will resolve it over the next couple of months I would think.
  19. Kati

    Kati Patient in training

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    Cort did you see the Prague thread with Dr Mikovits' poster? there are lots of goodies and stuff that makes us want to hear more. XMRV is "it"
  20. KnightofZERO

    KnightofZERO

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    All we have now is their statement and our speculations. However Dr. Peterson is getting up there (just extrapolating from his Med School Graduation he should be at least sixty something?), he does have his own practice, there are a lot of "valid reasons" for him to step down as Med. Director sooner or later that do not involve either fundamental disagreements or anything remotely salacious. This is especially true if a "full-time" director was always the plan when the new center opened.

    I think it is the fact that this was announced so suddenly that makes people naturally look to vivid explanations even if they are not the most reasonable ones based on current knowledge.

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