MS and sex link puts neurologist in hotseatBMJ 2002; 325 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.325.7368.842 (Published 12 October 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;325:842
- Geoff Watts, medical broadcaster. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
There was a time when medical journals were read exclusively by the professionals for whose enlightenment they were and still are principally intended. No longer. The press unearthed a public taste for reading about the clever doings of their doctors. The hacks began to scan the learned journals in search of titbits.
The journals—most of them commercial enterprises as dependent on being read as daily newspapers such as the Sun or the Mirror—decided to help out by picking what they judged to be the best or most intriguing stuff, and issuing press releases. In this way much useful information is routinely disseminated. Research charities are able to flag up their work and raise more money. Many a consultant ego has been pleasantly tickled. Everyone is happy. So publicising medical journals has proved to be a Good Thing.
Alas, even the best of Good Things has a down side—as one Essex neurologist has discovered. If Dr Christopher …