Richard G. Petty, MD

Why Blog?

Just before I entered a Web-free zone, I was looking at Susan Polgar’s chess blog, where she had written a set of answers as to why she should spend so much time and effort on writing blogs. Susan is a legendary chess payer: the first woman to become a men’s International Chess Grandmaster, and a member of an extraordinarily gifted family. I have written about them before.

I was not surprised to see that Susan’s motivations for doing this in the chess world were very similar to mine in the areas of health, wellness and human performance. In the last couple of weeks, I must have been asked twenty times: “Why do you bother to spend so much time on an activity that is extremely time consuming, and for which you get no obvious return?”

1. I have been concerned that even the best journalists do not have access to some of the great research work that is going on right now, and which can have an immediate effect on the lives of millions of people.

2. Some of these new observations, research and treatment options languish in hidden corners, because they may not fit the prevailing medical model. The medical and scientific worlds are full of tales of first-rate research that got shelved because others could not immediately see its importance. There is a wonderful story of the way in which the German-born British scientist Hans Krebs was basically told, “Thanks, but no thanks,” when, in 1937, he submitted a short paper about his now famous cycle. Fourteen years later he won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Albert Einstein once made an important statement:
“Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds.” Another version of the same sentiment, that is a bit closer to what he said in German is: “Great spirits have always found violent oppression from mediocrities.”

3. It is no secret that medical publishing and the award of prizes are tightly controlled by a small group of individuals. And it is right that extraordinary claims need extraordinary evidence. But when we have that evidence, it is only right and proper that you should have access to information that may help you. This blog is designed to be both a filter and a lens.

4. There is no longer any doubt that the laws of health and healing are changing. I doubt that you have heard that elsewhere, andyet the implications for your health and wellness are stunning.

5. Blogging is a medium through which non-professionals can contribute to discussions. I have already learned things from the experiences of people who have had to struggle with diagnoses and labels that hampered, instead of helped them.

6. I have had a great many discussions with fellow physicians and scientists about communicating science and medicine to the public. My own view is that the public is paying for our research and anything that we can do to empower people is all to the good. Yet many colleagues feel that any attempt to explain science in an accessible way somehow cheapens it. I think that they are dead wrong. I was already in medical school when Jacob Bronowski presented the Ascent of Man on television. Marvelous stuff that changed and energized my approach to medicine. If we do not explain the potential benefits of what we are doing to the public, then why should they, the government or pharmaceutical companies fund us?

7. Susan Polgar has reservations about the way in which chess is being taught, and I am concerned about the way in which medicine and science are being taught, particularly in the United States. Not that it’s bad or wrong, but just that it could be better and more patient-oriented.

“Every truth passes through three stages before it is recognized. In the first it is ridiculed, in the second it is opposed, in the third it is regarded as self evident.”
— Arthur Schopenhauer (German Philosopher, 1788-1860)

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About Richard G. Petty, MD
Dr. Richard G. Petty, MD is a world-renowned authority on the brain, and his revolutionary work on human energy systems has been acclaimed around the globe. He is also an accredited specialist in internal and metabolic medicine, endocrinology, psychiatry, acupuncture and homeopathy. He has been an innovator and leader of the human potential movement for over thirty years and is also an active researcher, teacher, writer, professional speaker and broadcaster. He is the author of five books, including the groundbreaking and best selling CD series Healing, Meaning and Purpose. He has taught in over 45 countries and 48 states in the last ten years, but spends as much time as possible on his horse farm in Georgia.

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