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I'm a computational biologist working at the intersection of basic research and medical research. I would recommended more than one grain of salt with medical research. Medically trained folks often fail to understand study design and are rarely rigorous thinkers. The heavy emphasis on memorization in medical school is a substantial part of the problem. And, those are problems even before perverse incentives kick in.



In medical research there is also the additional handicap of career structure. The extremely hierarchical nature of medical careers, and the substantial financial rewards for "playing along", mean that there are strong disincentives to rock the boat by criticizing the hypotheses of senior members. This often results in byzantine twists of logic being used to justify continuing with particular lines of enquiry, such as the amyloid hypothesis in Alzheimer's disease (my field).




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