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Reliable Sources for Medical Information — Might It Be Doctors?


Claims and facts: what's the difference? Nothing, it seems, according to recent events. The importance of access to medical information has shot up since 2020. Well, that's not true.




A dog wearing a mask

As a board-certified medical practitioner, I'd say that it's always been important for people to know as much as possible about the healthcare system. However, now that the pandemic has come and gone (or at least its momentum has), people actually agree with me. As if I might actually know what I'm talking about when it comes to medicine. How shocking.

I'm Andy Lazris, part doctor, part historian, part podcast host, part bestselling author, and full-time truthteller. Oh, and I also write the occasional soundtrack. You can purchase my 3D fictional books online and dance along to thrilling tales inspired by the reality of the stagnating modern day.

I've I find it extremely unfortunate that a globally devastating virus is what it took the public to wake up and start asking the tough questions, but equally as unfortunate is how rapidly everyone fell back asleep.

What Are The Characteristics Of A Reliable Source?

The answer is CRAAP. Currency, relevance, authority, accuracy, and purpose are a collection of elements you should assess about a source before investing too much in its ideas. Without these, you might find yourself building immutable stances upon historical fiction.

Currency

When was the information found, and has it been updated since? That's what you need to ask. For example, if you order nonfiction books and they discuss the prevalence of smallpox (an eradicated disease), they're not necessarily fallacious; they're just old! I myself am a big advocate of applying the knowledge yesteryear, but as far as medical facts go, it's important to stay current.

My medical fiction books online include the title, The Geriatrics Vengeance Club, a testament to my love for my patients and their wisdom. However, in nonfiction, one must be more discerning. When you browse online COVID-19 bookstores, be sure to check the publication date.

Relevance

This is a big one today. It's impossible not to notice how the important facts seem to be buried in the rubble of ifs and buts and discombobulated statistics. It's almost as if news sources are intentionally puzzling their audiences.

Along with that, the never-ending Twitter stream of claimants who insist with the passion of a warring foot soldier that everyone but them is lying. Laypeople rely on professionals and experts for medical care. How can they do this with experts publicly calling each other out?

The answer is by checking in with the relevance. A literal rocket scientist might be a scientist, but not qualified to call out a doctor who speaks about the legitimacy of a medication.

Authority

This is when the actual party putting forth the facts is called into question. Human beings are biased by nature, but when presenting information, one must try to be neutral. Advertisements and sponsored content dominate today's newsfeeds. Make sure your source hasn't been compensated for presenting their beliefs.



A woman with a newspaper over her head

This is a big reason not to put stock in celebrity spokespeople. Several public figures rose to preach the necessitation of the masks during the pandemic, playing an irrefutably important role in how widely they were adopted. However, these much-liked but nonmedical persons were then favored over the actual doctors like me who were presenting real facts and findings.

This is something that fascinates me about newer generations. With heaps of zeal and supposed dedication to the truth, they're very quick to subscribe to the loudest and most fashionable voice in the crowd.

This observation inspired my recent 3D fiction book January 6th and the Millenial Horde. Already among the nominations for the Book of The Year and beloved by the San Francisco Book Review, this multimedia work provides a cross-section of what activism has become.

Accuracy

Even the most trustworthy source isn't above fact-checking. A nonfiction Jewish history book may have cowriters or editors and the stamp of approval from a publishing house. This means that there are additional authorities who agree with and support the main authority's claim.

Of course, the same doesn't apply to historical fiction. Many books narrate a fictionalized version of real events, but that they're fiction allows them to take creative liberties. A fictional Civil War book may contain some accurate facts, but no matter how many authorities have signed off on them, you shouldn't accept them as credible sources.



A close-up of The Statue of Liberty

The label of fiction gives the source a license to deter from the truth. My Civil War-related book, Three Brothers from Virginia, does not attempt to pose as a collection of facts. I make the focal point of my historical fiction the characters' own lives and sentiments. However, not all authors are as inclined to make this clear to readers.

Purpose

If the information comes from any sort of campaign or official whose job is to promote certain ideas and products, you can be certain that even if the facts are evidenced and researched, they're heavily curated. You also need to think about censorship. I have personally had my medical license brought under threat for sharing my observations about certain healthcare reforms.



A model of a brain

These regulations may cloud the truth, even if that's not the source's intention. News channels, for instance, may actually be prevented from mentioning certain things, because they are businesses with interests.

The News

So the CRAAP system rejects all sponsored content, leaving a big hole in the place of news networks. This extends to online articles written by for-profit journalistic companies. Instead, I'd suggest you check out freely accessible blogs and podcasts. If the source doesn't stand to make money out of sharing the information, there's less likely to be biased. Even if you order some of the best nonfiction books to read, you'll have to consider the publishing house and their interests. However, books that contain firsthand research by the author should be safe.

If you're a podcast fan, do check out mine; Straight Talking Doc Unhinged is my own thoughts and opinions, stream of consciousness style, and I don't try to represent them as anything but. It's available on Spotify.

Healthcare Reform

The world of pop culture colloquialisms simply can't compete with the phrase that's been a favorite across generations, and undoubtedly, across cultures. "That's just the way it is". Spoken like some sort of magic spell that invalidates questions that have barely risen and rule out doubt as if it were a pesky fly.


A thought bubble next to a gavel

Since the beginning of time, or rather, the beginning of America, institutions have cemented tiny decisions made by educators, government officials, and campaigning politicians into the law. If you shop for healthcare system-related books, you'll find that some of the biggest moves in medical history were made by people who'd never even considered becoming doctors.

That's odd, isn't it? It takes ten to fourteen years of studying and working to become a doctor. Rightly so, given that we hold life and death matters in our gloved hands. Then again, when the policy and stipulations that govern us are made by people who would balk at the idea of giving us the autonomy that the Hippocratic Oath outlines, what control do we have, really?

History

As a student of History, I appreciate how much there is to be learned from the events of the past. However, it's still important to fact-check. My upcoming book, A Fork in the Road in Baltimore outlines how historical decisions still inform the healthcare we receive today.

However, since it's a nonfiction book, about medical history, I've experienced firsthand the consequences I describe.



A man in an old-fashioned plague mask

If you're concerned about finding even a single credible source with all of the above requirements, then you should stop and ask yourself, who knows medicine? The answer is medical practitioners. If you can find doctors you can trust, who are willing to show the evidence that they've gathered from personal experiences within the industry, then that's a great option.

I have poured my findings into Curing Medicare. In this nonfiction book, I explored how our modern medical system doesn't serve geriatric patients as well as it should. However, I didn't just say this as an opinion. I shared everything I've recorded during my multiple decades of being a geriatric primary care physician.

If you'd like to buy affordable fiction books that can show you the inside of the healthcare industry, then check out my healthcare system-related books. Alternatively, if you prefer, I also offer a wide range of medical fiction books online, like The Adventures of Yadel the Dreidel. Click here to explore my online fiction book shop.

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