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Medical journals are shifting from science to politics

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by JT1024, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. JT1024

    JT1024 Senior Member

    I don't think this is really news to anyone here...

    Medical journals are shifting from science to politics

    Medical journals aren’t what they used to be. Just ten short years ago, medical journals were places to report scientific study, interesting cases or clinical updates and reviews. They were, for the most part, about science and discovery.
    Now, there is a dramatic shift of scientific content in our journals to politics and policy.

    No where is this more evident than the much-heralded and widely read New England Journal of Medicine. (The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) is not too far behind either.)
    As an example, I was struck by this week’s New England Journal of Medicine article titles:
    “Use of ADHD Medication and Criminality” (an observational study)
    “Mammography Screening for Breast Cancer” (complete with poll)
    “The Future of Obamacare” (Perspective)
    “Lessons from Sandy” (Perspective)
    “Drug Policy for an Aging Population” (Perspective)
    “Intravenous Immune Globulin — How Does It Work?” (Review article)
    I decided to look just 10 short years ago and compare what article titles existed in theNew England Journal of Medicine from the week of November 21, 2002. Here are the article titles from that issue:
    “Transient Ischemic Attacks” (Perspective)
    “A Controlled Trial of a Human Papillomavirus Type 16 Vaccine”
    “Glycoprotein-D–Adjuvant Vaccine to Prevent Genital Herpes”
    “Extended Transthoracic Resection Compared with Limited Transhiatal Resection for Adenocarcinoma of the Esophagus”
    “Normal Vision despite Narrowing of the Optic Canal in Fibrous Dysplasia”
    “Specialty of Ambulatory Care Physicians and Mortality among Elderly Patients after Myocardial Infarction”
    Perhaps the shift from science to politics in our major medical journals is an brief aberration, but I don’t think so. I have noticed this phenomenon and expressed my concerns in 2006. The trend has only continued to grow: even our presidential candidates for the last election had position papers published in the New England Journal of Medicine just before the election.
    But the reality of politics and policy determining how medicine is practiced remains front-stage in medicine as cost and new structural concerns dominate health care. Medical questions, research and inquiry are increasingly second fiddle to health care political white papers. Adding to this lack of reporting of scientific discovery in major medical journals are the multiple rapid-fire, diverse portals for publication that exist for doctors and researchers these days thanks to the explosion of specialty publications and the Internet’s impact on information delivery to doctors. As a result, there is a fierce media race underway to keep doctors eyes focused on these antiquated journals’ content as doctors increasingly migrate away from print to electronic content.
    If a major scientific journal like the New England Journal of Medicine decides to focus on policy instead of medicine, I suppose that’s okay. That is their prerogative. But perhaps now that politics and policy have grown to such an extent in a major medical journal like the New England Journal of Medicine, the editorial board of this journal (and the others of similar political bents) should consider changing their name from theNew England Journal of Medicine to the New England Journal of Perspectives.
    At least then our young doctors of tomorrow will fully comprehend what they’re getting.
    Wes Fisher is a cardiologist who blogs at Dr. Wes.

    Merry, Bob, merylg and 1 other person like this.
  2. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

    Logan, Queensland, Australia
  3. Purple

    Purple Bundle of purpliness

    Can you please give the link where this article comes from?
    Thank you!
  4. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

    Logan, Queensland, Australia
  5. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

    Somewhere near Glasgow, Scotland
    He who controls your health, HAS YOU BY THE BALLS
    All about power, manipulation, massive amountof power and money involved.
    the big journals are owned by webs of companies, like Elseveir, linked to the darker side of Big Business
    Like the diagram I've posted several times about Wakefield, showing the web of connections
    People can grasp the danger of say, Stalin and Mao's spread of their sick brand of politics, but when there isn't smoking guns and bodies torn to bits by bombs, folk don't appreciate the dangers

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