I was reading the latest, and poked my head in this blog entry and nearly hurked up a lung. Yes Kindredspirit!! This! And this is proof yet again, that expertise in one area absolutely does not automatically confer expertise in any other area, as evidenced by a shoddy stereotype-filled and self-serving analysis of the last 40 years. I wish I had a dollar for every doc out there who thinks he has a handle on “human nature” based on which subset of patients he chooses to focus on. A single doctor’s anecdotal use of the word “some” or even “many” does not constitute data. Actual numbers or it never happened. The myopic view that fuels this RANT could only come from wearing old-privileged-white-guy glasses and steeped in cultural/religious tropes like “suffering is good for the soul” and that the belief that humans are at the core, depraved. Choosing to focus on “some” patients and extrapolate to all humans is both short-sighted and hypocritical. Psychiatry is often slagged on MIA as being notoriously context-averse. We see it here, in spades. You have to be pretty wrapped up in your own little world to not be able to connect a few dots in the 40 years from Reagan to now. Overall ease? Did the good Dr miss the Great Recession? The concentration of wealth that’s been going on? The decrease in actual buying power of salaries since the 70s? The skyrocketing costs of higher education? The breakdown of public education overall? He clearly thinks a significant subset of his patients are trying to game the system while not looking too hard at his own group, which expects – and receives – money-for-nothing with its rent-seeking investment portfolios. People aren’t less tolerant of stress “these days”, they’re just more vocal and less willing to suffer quietly like in the “good old days” when women and other minorities knew their place, enabling white men to not have to deal with the really uncomfortable fact of old-white-guy-induced pain for everyone who isn’t an old white guy. I particularly liked how the use of Valium by housewives in the 60s is trivialized to women just being bored and too lazy to find things to do, since being a housewife became so easy once they didn’t have to beat the rugs and kill the chickens anymore. That whole little “analysis” is sadly, what I’ve come to expect as the unselfconscious and unapologetic misogyny that the current regime has made acceptable again in public. And writing nostalgically of a time when life was so physically hardscrabble that people didn’t have time to think past the next food crisis, let alone dare ask for anything from their betters? Really?? Reading this was like reading something straight from another century. Except that we have obviously never gotten past that crap and it just keeps bubbling up from from the collective midden. The vibe of everyone is suspect, dishonest, and trying to pull a fast one, obvious disdain for humans overall, and for patients and their “complaints” (a word more often applied to women and one that is just loaded with all sorts of unspoken crap) is not at all unique to psychiatry, and is precisely why I have pretty much replaced every male doctor I can possibly replace with a female one. And I’m talking about all specialties, and having cancer and MS, plus the usual types, that’s a few. I realize women doctors are educated in male-created systems and so fed a diet of male biases too, but on the whole, I feel I have a better chance of avoiding the most egregiously antiquated attitudes by avoiding male docs altogether.