Antibiotic Resistance

Medicine is not science. Science is never settled.

Even things we take for granted (like “always finish your entire course of antibiotics“) aren’t set in stone.

The rationale behind this commandment has always been that stopping treatment too soon would fuel the development of antibiotic resistance — the ability of bugs to evade these drugs. Information campaigns aimed at getting the public to take antibiotics properly have been driving home this message for decades.

But the warning, a growing number of experts say, is misguided and may actually be exacerbating antibiotic resistance.

This is an example of why I’ve learned to take what the medical community says with a grain of salt. Sure, they’ve been beating the same party line for years, and thus “conventional wisdom” says the same thing (how convenient!), but that doesn’t make it true.

It’s not true simply because a doctor says it.

The appeal to authority is extra-appealing especially in health issues, because the medical community has gone out of its way to build up a sheen of truthiness. It’s tempting to believe, because it’s easy and we want answers and want to believe that someone has them. It’s tempting, but it’s wrong.

Find a doctor you can trust, but always think for yourself.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *