Radical Thought at Johns Hopkins Medical School

Brent Pottenger, who is a medical student at John Hopkins, writes:

Today, as a required activity for our Hopkins Med endocrinology course, we watched excerpts Supersize Me and Tom Naughton’s Fat Head. Our professor then engaged us in a discussion comparing the two films. Our professor told our class that the lipid hypothesis is incorrect, said that the USDA Food Pyramid is the product of corn and wheat subsidies (and lobbies), and definitely stirred up some uneasy responses from my classmates.

I asked Brent what had made them uneasy.

What the professor said contradicted what they believe. Every professor before this has demonized saturated fat, meats, etc., so this was the first time someone questioned that belief.

How did they express their unease?

They expressed unease by getting up and leaving the lecture hall, by whispering in disgust to their neighbors, etc. — you could see it on their faces. Then, some of the more curious classmates who are always inquisitive followed up with genuine questions, wanting to know more about the validity to the statements made in Tom’s movie about Ancel Keys, the McGovern Report, the USDA, the science of the lipid hypothesis, etc.

10 Replies to “Radical Thought at Johns Hopkins Medical School”

  1. That blasphemous heretic of a professor obviously is in need of a frontal lobotomy or at the very least leaching until he recovers his senses.


  2. Sigh. Another generation of misinformed technicians readying themselves to dispense pablum and and prescriptions to a unsuspecting public. I’m heartened to learn that there are a few professors out there who are challenging their students to use what they are learning and think.

  3. Perhaps most people are evolved to accept dogma, because the alternative was to be rejected by religious society.

    This could be tested by measuring concentration of dogma acceptance with respect to long term type of society.

  4. I was in hospital last week and took the opportunity to explain to a young cardiologist about Ancel Keys and his lies. She’d never heard this tale before, and, I suspect, didn’t believe a word of it. Worse, I’ll bet my bottom dollar that she had no intention of googling around a bit to see what’s what.

    A different young registrar told me that he’d had a look at the photos resulting from my angiogram a couple of years ago. Not only was there no significant narrowing, he said, but there were no deposits at all. Clean as a whistle. Ah, said I wisely, it’s my bacon and butter diet!

    Seth: Good to know. During a year when I ate lots of butter, my deposits decreased. Your experience supports my hope that it was cause and effect — the butter decreased the deposits.

  5. I’m sorry for the patients of the arrogant ones who refused to consider information from a professor who challenged their beliefs. Those a patients who will never be heard or truly cared for by these physicians.

  6. it is an endocrinology class at a top 10 in the world med school. couldn’t the teacher just let the science speak for itself? it is what it is, opinion be damned.

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