There’s so much information out there about everything you can think of as well as stuff you haven’t even thought of. The problem is deciding who to trust. When it comes to knowing who to listen to in our world of healthcare the decision is made all the more important because of what we do & who we’re working with. The consequences are dire if we get it wrong. As health professionals we can make the wrong call by doing nothing as well as by doing something.
My opinion & practice is to try and always listen to an expert not a commentator in the field I’m interested in.
There are few experts out there but many more commentators, so you have to be discriminatory about who to listen to. The commentators in health care are the equivalent to the shock jocks on radio. They feel it’s necessary to tell us how they feel about the issues of the day, they’re often dismissive of the minority view, and they have an opinion about almost everything, even if they have no idea about the subject matter.
5 Top Characteristics of a Commentator
- Frequently guilty of the Ad Hominem strategy. If in doubt attack the reader or listener because THEY know best.
- Decide to talk about only controversial & emotive subjects like the fees practitioners charge because it’s bound to attract more listeners, readers or watchers.
- Pick on therapies or practitioners who practice a therapy, which has no current strong research evidence to back it up. Why? Because THEY know best.
- Use flawed opinions by other commentators to back your stand & claims on an issue or question.
- Attack an entire profession rather than an individual, especially if that profession is seeking to gain recognition or further training for something THEY feel is the domain of another more “superior” profession.
This commentator strategy is designed to get ratings or people to their blog pages & websites. More visitors to a blog page, means more traffic, which means more sales, which means more revenue. The problem is that it’s all about them, not you.
The shock jocks of the health world attract practitioners by being controversial; this naturally baits some people who naturally feel obliged to respond. The end result is nothing more than a discussion about nothing. Why, because the origins of the conversation had no substance in the first place. When you start with thin air you end up choking on the lack of substance in the discussion & wonder what it was all about in the first place.
Don’t be drawn to the healthcare shock jocks out there. Decide who the experts in your field are and follow them. This will naturally raise the intellectual level of debate, learning & move us forward in our thinking & practice.
In my next post I’ll tell you how to find an expert & their traits.