IN DEFENSE OF ICONOCLASM -THE DEFENSE OF DR J DOUGLAS BREMNER
One was by Dr Elliot Fisher from Dartmouth who was among the very first to dare to ask the basic question about “more possibly being worse” in US bio-medicine in JAMA. The second and third articles were from Dr Larry Dossey who then edited the journal Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine who wrote eloquently about intolerance among bio-medical scientists toward even considering Alternative Medicine.(Dossey, Larry‘You people’: intolerance and alternative medicine. 1999;5(2):12-17,109-112)
I would ask Drs Gorski and Lipson if an iconoclast like Dr Bremner might be serving a valuable role as gadfly to an entrenched failing status quo in bio-medicine who have made the mistake of deifying science? I would posit that the very essence of science is always and incessantly asking the question- “is it possible that I may be wrong?”. And I strongly support the return of narrative- the patient’s individual story- to the practice of medicine. The incomparable Sir William Osler, one of my heroes in medicine, knew that well.
I believe that of all the determinants of successful US bio-medicine medicine going forward that a strong dose of humility is in very tall order.
To make progress our egos must die first- a basic psychiatric principle. It is much better and much more important to be tolerant and kind than to be right.
I support Dr Doug Bremner’s role as a colorful and passionate iconoclast. We need more just like him.