Are You a COVID Researcher?

Author: Dr David Shaw, a skin and cosmetic GP at Kingscliff Health medical and allied health centre in Kingscliff, NSW.

There has been an incredible amount of amazing research done into the current pandemic.

However members of my community often tell me they have been ‘doing their own research’. But their conclusions typically differ from the broad agreement of the scientific and medical community.

So what’s going on here?

Are these good folks able to interpret raw scientific data in a way that renders the expert’s conclusions obsolete?

Could they be finding quality studies that the experts somehow overlooked?

Or is the scientific and medical community in some sort of collusion with pharmaceutical companies and other more sinister “deep state” organisations who have agendas that are not in the best interest of the people?

Hopefully you will agree that when stated like that, all three possibilities are, shall we say, not highly likely.

So why the different conclusions?

The reasons are no doubt myriad and complex but here’s a few possibilities:

  1. Understanding and interpreting research is not straight forward. It’s a university level subject. No study is published in a reputable journal without it being ‘peer reviewed’. This is because it often takes a meeting of minds to form appropriate conclusion from the evidence at hand. Often the people most vulnerable to health research misinterpretation are health workers themselves who understand the terminology and concepts but don’t have the expertise to critically analyse research. Even after studying medical statistics at basic university level (or possibly because of it), I know that I myself am not up to it.
  2. Factual truth is often very boring. For a story to take off, it needs to be compelling and appeal to our imagination. Scientific analysis is ideally methodical, meticulous and thorough ie. boring!!
  3. People have agendas. There are very clear motivations for individuals and even organisations to promote information that is, shall we say, not supported by the current data. Typically money and fame. There is truckloads of money to be made peddling compelling stories on the internet. And professionals who would otherwise be nobodies have the possibility of overnight fame and ‘expert’ status.

My message is this: If we think we are a Covid researcher, we need to think again. You and I don’t have the capabilities.

Of course scientists don’t know everything and do make mistakes, but trusting the pooled opinion of experts really is our best shot at getting through this.

Dr David Shaw is a highly experienced skin and cosmetic GP with areas of interest in dermatology, skin cancer checks, skin cancer surgery, and cosmetic injectables. Book an appointment online with Dr David Shaw or call us on 02 6670 1400.

* The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and not intended to be a substitute for professional advice. You must consult your doctor before acting on the information in this article, especially if you have concerns regarding health related issues for yourself and your family.

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