[ExI] Attention Spans Decreasing?

Rafal Smigrodzki rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com
Sat Jan 25 07:21:23 UTC 2014

On Sat, Jan 25, 2014 at 1:37 AM, spike <spike66 at att.net> wrote:
> I had an idea, which Rafal or Bill might comment on.  Doctors can go thru
> their whole careers using data that was pre-filtered.  They have their
> medical textbooks, the JAMA, mostly credible and careful medical journals,
> etc, all high quality reliable information.  They knew to disregard or
> heavily discount material supplied by advertisers and vendors, but pay
> close attention to some select sources and studies.  They knew how to get
> everything pre-filtered at least up to the plausible level before they even
> invest valuable time to read it.

### The key is finding the right venue. For me it's UpToDate (paywalled),
Medscape/eMedicine, RxList, and Pubmed searches. I hardly ever go outside
of these sources, which should not be surprising since Pubmed encompasses
essentially all of peer-reviewed medical literature. You have to always
think about the "standard of care" part ... I have never been sued, I
sincerely hope this lucky streak continues and I try to help my luck by
being nice to patients and periodically checking the guidelines even on
basics, like stroke or Parkinson's.

Today I did a marathon session on Pubmed at my science job - it's so much
different from my MD-PhD days 20 years ago. Frantically searching through
hundreds of articles I know nothing about trying to assess the plausibility
of a biological mechanism for a drug we invented, in order to choose a
reagent to buy from among thousands of possible avenues of research. Made
me dizzy, literally.

There is a new, lazy way of doing science coming to town - shotgun
sequencing DNA, RNA, proteins, completely characterizing all molecular
entities in a sample, generating upwards of 10 GB data per sample, and
letting a bioinformatics package make guesses at mechanisms.

Soon those who own the relevant hardware will be retired (earning a rent),
those who don't will be fired.

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