Photo Friday: Completing the Decade of the Patient, beginning the Decade of Data (over dogma)

2019.12.25 Sous Vide Steak, Washington, DC USA  359 58016
2019.12.25 Sous Vide Steak, Washington, DC USA 359 58016 (View on Flickr.com)

At the beginning of this decade, I made the delcaration that it was the “Decade of the Patient” (see: Quoted in USNews – Futureology 2004 – 2014 in health care – it is the decade of the patient). Why? Because patients were finally able to access information about themselves and do something with it.

I’m going to call this new one the “Decade of Data (over dogma).” I don’t mean it in the “big data” sense. I mean it as actual information, that’s separate from beliefs and dogma. This is of course most evident in the area of nutrition, where epidemiology and trust have come under fire, as people unwind the consequences, some quite devastating.

Rise of the citizen scientist

The strengths of activated and engaged patients combined with the skillset of citizen scientists and clinicians who support them will hopefully bring us to a less conflicted, more data driven place in medicine.

When I was in medical school, we were taught that 90% of therapies had no scientific basis for their recommendation. Now we are getting help at finding out which ones these are. And with that, deciding not to force dramatic lifestyle changes without evidence, and without valuing values.

There’s actually a citizen science foundation made up of doctors and patients with the skills to do this work in a non-industry funded way.

Conflict of interest is so 20th Century… 🙂

2019.07.15 Low Carb and Low Carbon, Washington, DC USA 196 04013
2019.07.15 Low Carb and Low Carbon, Washington, DC USA 196 04013 (View on Flickr.com)

Valuing values

2018.05 Low Carb and Low Carbon - Ted Eytan MD-1001 846
2018.05 Low Carb and Low Carbon – Ted Eytan MD-1001 846 (View on Flickr.com)

This week’s photograph is not about the food in the picture (it’s a strip steak) as much as it is about valuing values.

Patients who are “departing” from established guidelines to reverse their diabetes and prediabetes with diet and without pharmaceuticals are challenging the notion that “one size fits all,” and doing it with data.

What I see a lot is the attitude in the medical profession: “Of course one size does not fit all, just make sure it’s our size.” The photo is about the fact that our/your/my size doesn’t work for everyone.

In any event, the guidelines have now been changed, partially in response (my opinion) to patients demonstrating that their values deserve to be valued:

Slide Update: ADA’s website now includes Low-Carbohydrate Diets in Standards of Care, and looking back on the times the medical profession called people/ideas a “fad”

2018.05 Low Carb and Low Carbon - Ted Eytan MD-1001 826
2018.05 Low Carb and Low Carbon – Ted Eytan MD-1001 826 (View on Flickr.com)

Can’t unsee it

Right now, I see that the experience physicians have with citizen scientists and/or people who have reversed their diabetes is limited.

As we have seen in other human movements such as LGBTQ, more exposure to humans achieving their life goals changes dogmatic points of view about those humans, in ways that can never be changed back.

And, I personally like spending time with humans who don’t waste their time living someone else’s life.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma—which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.Steve Jobs, 2005

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