Detailed guides to painful problems, treatments & more

Patient advocacy is naturally at odds with professional tribalism and boosterism

 •  • by Paul Ingraham
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Weekly nuggets of pain science news and insight, usually 100-300 words, with the occasional longer post. The blog is the “director’s commentary” on the core content of a library of major articles and books about common painful problems and popular treatments. See the blog archives or updates for the whole site.

Patient advocacy is naturally at odds with professional tribalism and boosterism. This has been pissing me off for 20 years now and has at least partially motivated everything I have ever written about musculoskeletal medicine.

Far too many healthcare professionals, especially the freelance manual therapists, place a higher value on their professional pride than their patients’ needs. This shows up most clearly in public debates (social media arguments) about best practices, when they aggressively circle their wagons to defend their deep investments in obsolete and bogus tools, methods, and ideas. Of course they think they are defending what’s best for patients, and they will frame it that way, but they are actually defending what’s best for their career and reputation. For instance, that trademarked modality they are certified in — five grand for a series of weekend workshops — is mostly good for their reputation and bottom line, not patients.

It’s more important to them to seem effective than to be effective.

For more on this theme, see these articles about: