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Professional arrogance exposed

 •  • 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.

Patients new to pain often assume that healthcare pros must know what it’s like… but most can’t actually relate, not without living with it.

And so obnoxious overconfidence is common. Exhibit A: Many bizarrely arrogant, judgemental, condescending reactions to a colleague’s back pain! Adam Meakins wrote:

“Out of all the debates and debacles I’ve had on social media I don’t think I’ve ever been accused of, or called so many negative and nasty things by so many clinicians since I’ve been a person in pain documenting my progress over these last 9 days! #GiveMeStrength 🙄🤦🏻‍♂️🤫”

I have seen this nonsense myself with regards to my own chronic pain. The subtext (or just the text!) is always the same: “If you were competent like me, you could prevent/solve your own painful problem.” Most of these professionals are doomed to be humbled by pain someday.