Can we mix philosophy with science in medical teaching ?
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I think it is an Invalid question. Whether you like it or not , medical science and philosophy are always bonded together and its relationship is eternal. It doesn’t make sense to separate them. I think we have misunderstood the meaning of philosophy. While science is presumed truths, philosophy is trying to believe in unknown truths. Philosophical truths are built-into every decision a medical professional takes.
If the expected natural history of any disease is science, unexpected deviations are philosophy. (RT PCR testing for diagnosing Corona is science, why 90% of them are not infective and don’t transform disease is philosophy) When something is not seen or quantifiable like human immunity, it is a perfect example of concealed science or manifest philosophy.
Taking about what we think we know is science, Talking about what we really don’t know is philosophy. The term Idiopathic syndrome finds a proud of the place in every specialty in medicine, Isn’t?
What will be your answer when your patient wants an assurance that a stent, you had just implanted will not get occluded in the next 6 months or so.“I don’t know, I cant assure you about that” will be your most likely answer. (Though, we do it in style, hiding behind the scientific hyperbole decorated with numbers, also referred to as statistics) Please realize, this is the expression of medical philosophy in the finest form.
My Impression is, philosophical truths should be liberally used in a regular fashion right from the first-year medical school to advanced specialty teaching. This seems essential as science in the current times suffers from too much sanctity. This has spilled over to the doctor population as well, and make them appear invincible.
If only we realize science often trails behind the philosophical truths at least by a few decades, our patients will not be injured inappropriately and prematurely. Mixing science with philosophy in the right composition ( a perfect academic cocktail ) will bring out the best from the noble profession.
Can anyone guess, why scientists are given a doctorate in Philosophy degree (PhD ) ?