Halloweeeeeeennnn! It’s upon us, and while we’re women and men of science around here, we’re not completely able to shed our lizard-brain’s need to take shortcuts. Which is why we are not at all surprised to know that ER docs still think the moon’s revolutions around the big blue marble are in any way important. Fortunately, the post-cave-dwellers at the Marburg Center for Undiagnosed and Rare Disease are putting IBM’s Watson to good use by diagnosing–in seconds– rare diseases that defy the efforts of meatier doctors. And a Rutgers study finds that med school faculty severely underestimate students’ stress and mental health issues.
WHO researchers in Uganda are keen to teach schoolchildren there how to spot dubious health claims. This leads Dave to ask Levi Endelman, John Pienta, and newcomers Alice Ye and Adam Erwood whether their generation was taught the principles of logic and scientific thought in a way more effective than his own generation was taught, while Alice questions the motives of the researchers themselves. On a related note, listener Jake writes in to remind John that even we on The Short Coat Podcast, careful as we are to disclaim any logic whatsoever, should be wary of “shallow/uncontrolled” arguments. We discuss emerging ideas on treating ICU patients in ways that minimize ICU delirium and PTSD, a problem once known as ICU psychosis, including changing the ways patients are sedated, their environments, the emphasis on convenience for healthcare personnel, and other factors that may be making patients crazy.