ME/CFS

Medical haste, COVID-19, and the mythology of “Medically Unexplained Symptoms”

Here is an extract from a lecture I gave last year for my colleagues at the Psychiatric Association of Turkey. It concerns the issue of so-called “Medically Unexplained Symptoms”: I attempt to show how the primacy effect — a reliance on first impressions — serves to distort medical reasoning. For […]

‘Cancel culture’ paranoia and other right-wing hysterics reveal medical conservatism’s true colours

Historian David Olusoga has been speaking about the ironies of ‘cancel culture’: Olusoga, whose work has explored black Britishness and the legacy of empire and slavery, said that people “feel perfectly comfortable making these comments about me without being able to point to a single reference or footnote in my […]

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Authors defend statistical errors, editor sees no evil

Let’s have another go, shall we? Last December we wrote about a paper published in Occupational Medicine, in which the following information was presented in a table: The study concerned a group of patients who were scrutinised at two time-points, firstly at “baseline”, and secondly at “follow-up”. That is basically […]

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Will innumeracy cause this study to be retracted? Don’t count on it…

I used to be concerned about bad science. These days, what gets me going is wrong science: blatant error somehow surviving peer-review and ending up published as if it were fact. It seems that is where we have got to with modern academic publishing. Standards have slipped so badly, even […]

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Psychogenic ME/CFS: Turning the Nostalgia Up to Eleven

Some examples of comedy are jarringly impactful precisely because they feel so authentic. A personal favourite of mine is the 1984 movie This is Spinal Tap, the legendary mockumentary depicting a fictional English rock band attempting to rescue their dwindling reputations by organising one last big-splash concert tour. It is […]