But You're Not A Doctor!

 Just a mom who loves a good Google search

Just a mom who loves a good Google search

I’ve written two posts about the dangers of ultrasound here and here, and these are some of the lovely responses I’ve received just this week: 

Just curious what sort of educational background, experience, or legitimate research you have on this subject?

Until you obtain a medical degree in diagnostic medical sonography, I do not hold much weight behind your uneducated, embellished perceptions of the use of imaging in pregnancy. 

I don’t know where you obtained any information about an ultrasound being unsafe, but you are clearly not in the medical field. 

Okay, Dr. Google. I doubt you have any medical training or knowledge. 

I am a sonographer and this is just completely wrong.

Here is my response: I don’t care about medical degrees. 

If anything, I am even more skeptical of people who cling so tightly to their credentials because credentials almost always require indoctrination. 

Indoctrination is the process of teaching a person or group to accept a set of beliefs uncritically.

When you go to medical school — or any mainstream school, really — you learn a big chunk of information and then you have to pass tests to prove that you’ve memorized that information and have accepted it as truth. They tell you what to believe, you believe it, and then you win the prize: A degree and the opportunity to “help people”. 

There’s only one rule: You must stick to the script. 

It sounds harsh, but that’s how it works. 

This is why so many doctors are afraid to speak up about anything even remotely controversial, like vaccines or circumcision. If they do, they oftentimes run the risk of losing their license.

More commonly, though, we find people who are blissfully ignorant to anything that doesn’t fit their current paradigm. Maybe they don’t have enough time to research, or they’ve been encouraged to ignore the “quacks” and their “pseudoscience”. 

Maybe, like so many of us, they’re just trying to protect the identity that they so carefully built up over the years. The “Doctor Who Helps People” or “Sonographer Who Saves Lives”. 

This is why a medical degree means nothing to me in terms of finding the truth. Because in order to really see clearly, to think critically, we’re required to step out of our roles, jobs and identities for a bit. We have to be willing to drop all of our preconceived ideas and dive into uncomfortable territory.

I know there are some doctors who’ve braved this territory and continue to ask questions. Kelly Brogan and Sarah Buckley come to mind, and these twelve doctors who speak openly about the dangers of vaccines.

But for the most part, they are the exception. 

Doctors are humans, just like us. They have egos, just like us. They aren’t omnipotent beings with the power of complete objectivity. They may have an impressive understanding of anatomy and physiology, but at the end of the day, they’re just as likely to not notice the bars of their cage. 

I could post plenty of credible research, but people are always quick to dismiss me because I don't have this or that qualification. I'm beginning to think that this immediate dismissal is a coping mechanism. When we receive information that threatens our foundational understanding of the world, our defenses automatically come up and the quickest remedy is to simply say, "Oh, but you're not a doctor, so this can't be true." 

Well, what if these “unqualified” people are just as -- if not more -- qualified? 

I don't have a medical degree, but I also don't have a medical license or an entire identity to protect. There's no rulebook. I'm always expanding, challenging myself and exploring all possibilities. Shouldn't that make me more objective, more trustworthy, by default?

There is a big shift happening right now. For many years, medical professionals held all of the power. We visited them when we felt ill, they gave us a recommendation (more likely, a prescription) and we followed suit, no questions asked.

Well, now we have the Internet.

Mothers and fathers are using this resource to take responsibility for the health of their families and what are they receiving in response? Not a pat on the back, but an eye-roll and a snide comment about "Dr. Google".

Let's put our defenses down and consider the possibility that the people who consult Dr. Google* in pursuit of the truth actually have something of value to share. Then we can feel inspired to ask our own questions, and to venture outside of our carefully constructed reality to find answers.

The issue here is not my lack of credibility. It's the widespread belief that we are not qualified to think for ourselves without a "proper education".** Even deeper, it's the fear of what might lay beyond the walls of the rigid boxes we live in. 



Note: This is not (I am not) anti-doctor. I am pro-informed choice. When I share something with you, I don't want you to accept it as fact. I want you to explore it further on your own. I am nobody's authority. Oh, and please -- I don't need to hear any tragic stories about how you've been saved by Western medicine. We get it. Shit happens.

*Funny story: I went to a doctor once for a health issue and she didn't know the answer, so guess what she did? She Googled it. Right in front of me.

**Thanks, authoritative parenting culture. <3