While I'm not sure how others will take you suggestions, I appreciate them
very much, as an American, as one given to habitually parlaying a small
amount (or no) in depth knowledge and a large helping of 'righteous'
indignation into a fervently stated "principled position". I still think
that the greatest virtue of the scholar or intellectual is humility,
something I know I have far too little of. The only segue I can make into
EBHC is that this same virtue of humility was the one that I'd hoped to be
in greatest supply at our conference in Palermo; a conference I was unable
to attend due to events which have ultimately given rise to our current
From: Osher Doctorow [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Friday, November 02, 2001 11:15 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Suggestions for Educating Health/Science People
From: Osher Doctorow [log in to unmask], Fri. Nov. 2, 2001 8:07AM
My wife and I have Ph.D. Degrees. She is a licensed clinical psychologist
(over 30 years in practice), I am a college teacher in mathematics including
mathematical probability/statistics, mathematical physics, mathematical
models in life/biological sciences, etc.
Based on the types of email which I have seen on EBH over the last few
weeks, I would suggest that education of health and life science people in
both the USA and UK could be considerably improved below the level of M.D.
1. Considerably more course work in ethics related to these fields is very
probably needed, including not just restriction to one person in one field
(e.g. Chomsky) but a wide range of people specializing in the philosophy of
ethics - which is where the proper study of ethics is located, not in the
deep structure theory of languages or in the platform of renowned
non-philosophers who travel around the world lecturing with anti-Western or
2. Considerably more course work in psychology should be required. Great
Britain has always prided itself on having a less emotionally wild legal
system than the USA (solicitors, barristers compared to the Anatomy of a
Murder or Chicago Gangster dramatics that often are allowed in USA
courtrooms), and that seems to hold for British physics and mathematics, but
in health and related sciences it seems that wild emotionality remains to be
monitored and analyzed (self-analyzed too). I would put suggestions 1 and
2 at the top of educating suggestions in these fields.
3. Imitation and worship of Great Heroes appears to be of epidemic
proportions among many health professionals, and his indicates to me that a
course in Creative Genius versus Ingenious Imitation or Ingenious Followers
would be extremely useful. Creative Geniuses in science, mathematics, art,
music, architecture, literature, philosophy for example do not generally
worship Great Heroes of the past - they learn the best of the past and then
rebel against the errors of the past, and they (a) CREATE, (b) are ahead of
their times by years and sometimes hundreds of years, not just one step
ahead (unlike imitators).
These are my three suggestions for now. If I think of any more, I will post
them. I want to thank the negative and ignorant people for inspiring these
suggestions, although this has a vague analogy to thanking Hitler for
showing us the depths to which human depravity can sink.