Monday, March 15, 2010

Thalidomide


Check out a fascinating article in the New York Times on current research into the infamous drug thalidomide. Yes we were all fed the information in medical school that thalidomide should not be given in pregnancy due to horrible birth defects fifty years ago. But like so many questions that were left unanswered while we were students, nobody ever told us why it happened. As it turns out nobody else knew the reasons either. Now there has been really interesting research on the effects of thalidomide and limb formation in embryos.

When you think about it there is very little we know in medicine. Any five year old will ask ad nauseum "why" until you are unable to come up with a reasonable answer. But in medical school we are force fed information with very little time for introspection. We are just supposed to accept information as they are given, whether they are factual or theoretical. Therefore fundamental presumptions about subjects such as why we age, what causes cancer, how anesthesia works, are regurgitated as facts when in fact we have no clue, yet. It's good to see hard working people still searching for the truth in medicine.

No comments:

Post a Comment