Earlier this month on twitter, one user asked: “What’s something that seems obvious in your profession, but the general public seems to misunderstand?”
What‘s something that seems obvious within your profession, but the general public seems to misunderstand?— Louie (@Mantia) July 1, 2018
It prompted a large discussion across multiple fields — computer science, math, teaching, politics — and of course, science and medicine.
Some users shared little-known-facts about journals and peer-reviewed papers.
That most peer reviewed science is wrong, or at least seriously flawed.— Icenian (@icenianV7) July 2, 2018
Academics don't get paid ANYTHING for their articles when published in academic journals. These articles are often difficult to write, involve years of research, and are now the main metric for academic employability.— Lara Owen (@laraowen) July 5, 2018
Just because it’s a published research paper doesn’t mean it’s a good study, a new scientific fact, or fuel for an argument. Papers are not heavily scrutinized and reviewers are not compensated, it’s impossible for every study to be a perfect design and answer every question.— Jordan R. Moon, PhD (@DrJordanMoon) July 6, 2018
What‘s something that seems obvious within your profession, but the general public seems to misunderstand? https://t.co/p5d0Pw60q0— Marce VP (@Mavipla) July 11, 2018
Others made clarifications about what specialties actually do.
Psychologist = Scientist who studies the mind.— Matt Wall #FBPE #StopBrexit (@m_wall) July 3, 2018
Psychiatrist = Doctor who treats mental disorders.
Neuroscientist = Scientist who stidies the brain.
Neurologist = Doctor who treats disorders of the nervous system.
Radiologists are doctors who went through 10 years of training (4 med school, 5 residency, 1 fellowship) to interpret medical imaging (x-rays, ultrasound, CTs, MRIs).— Patricia Balthazar, MD (@PBalthazarMD) July 9, 2018
Radiology techs are not doctors. They’ve gone through 2 years of training to perform medical image exams. pic.twitter.com/uZXsopAAiU
Epidemiology has nothing to do with the skin— Petra Wark (@PetraWark) July 6, 2018
Some educated the public more generally about illness.
More communication about illness and disease is not always better. Better communication is better.— Dr. Elisia Cohen (@ECohen_UMN) July 5, 2018
Just because you can screen for a disease doesn’t mean you should.— Dr. Kristjana (@kristjanahronn) July 2, 2018
Statistics beat anecdotes.
Vaccines are intensively researched, safe and effective.
There was also some education around how hospitals and clinics really work.
That there is more to healthcare provision the just Doctors and Nurses, it ain't like Casualty we have thousands of support staff keeping things running from making sure the lights stay on to making sure our equipment is in tip top shape #SupportStaff— David Wignall (@David_AntW) July 7, 2018
Medical procedure/treatment can fail too, despite everything going well and according to standard operational procedure.— TaufikMP (@TaufikMP) July 5, 2018
That you will get your medications as soon as you get to the unit. (You already got interviewed in access/triage and asked about your meds). The nurses on the unit are the ones who call the MD for orders (after we do another assessment).— Kelly (@kelswickrn) July 6, 2018
One user had advice that applies to every professional in the workforce: there is hard work behind everything.
It looks easy when I do it because I’ve practiced my ass off.— Abby Franquemont (@abbysyarns) July 5, 2018
The first time you try, it won’t be as easy as it looks when I do it.
The secret is practice.
And another reassured everyone that scientists and clinicians are human beings, too.
That scientists are human beings with outside interests, families and responsibilities like the rest of humanity. And many of us are indeed social!— Krishana Sankar __ (@KrishanaSankar) July 6, 2018
So now it’s your turn. What is something in your specialty or profession that is obvious to you but that you wish the general public or people outside of your specialty better understood?