A Case for Skepticism

Unlike most people who had routine births, mine was far from routine. Born very early and alarmingly small, I struggled for months before becoming strong enough to even leave the neonatal intensive care unit. From the time I was old enough to understand, I heard stories of repeatedly being pulled from the brink of death during those formidable first months. As one can imagine, my appreciation of those who had worked so hard for my survival grew into something quite akin to hero worship.

While a bit more precarious than most people’s experiences, I don’t think I’m unique in developing a bit of hero worship for the doctors and nurses who care for us and our loved ones. This is only amplified by the air of authority bestowed by the news media, as well as by fictional television, movies, and books, which further elevate medical practitioners and scientists, sometimes to near sainthood. The reality, however, is that the medical practitioners, scientists, and researchers among us today are still human beings who are given to errors, political maneuvering, and self-deception.

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