Counterpoint: Why Graduate Medical Education will be fine | Boring EM

A really great piece by Teresa Chan MD in response to a post on KevinMD entitled, ‘Why graduate medical education is failing,’ by J. Russell Strader MD. I highly suggest reading both.

Dr Chan writes in her conclusion:

This whole Counterpoint has boiled down to one thing: it’s time we got more critical about the blogosphere. We need to stop posting unsupported and non-evidence based conjecture without so much as a shred of corroborating evidence…A blog is not a peer reviewed journal, but it should take the evidence into account when drawing conclusions.

I agree with this sentiment (and think Dr Strader’s post was pretty egregious in its unsupported assertions) but I also think we should be cautious about restricting opinion in any fashion. My fear is that people may hesitate to write a piece or express an opinion because they are afraid evidence exists they may not be familiar with [1]. Blogs and social media function better with the exchange of ideas. When a bad idea is shared, there is an opportunity to do exactly what Dr Chan has done—respond. I have recommended reading both posts because I think both are enlightening representations; I think we’re better off with both posts [2].

  1. This is actually how I feel about resident work hours. I know a large body of evidence exists, but I have not done any research work in that area so I’m not very familiar with it. It would take me some time to find the ‘best’ papers and accurately refer to their conclusions. Thus, I refrain from writing strong opinions about the subject.  ↩

  2. Arguably, Dr Chan’s post would be shorter and more readable if she cut out the vitriol and focused on making a counterpoint.  ↩