The Importance of Being Earnest

We live an a world of constant overbearing information overload. Social media allows news, images, opinion to be almost instantly available across the globe. This gives anybody with a connection the ability to post almost anything (within the rules of their chosen outlet) they like.

In medicine and dentistry we are drilled as undergraduates to work within evidence based parameters. Using evidence based techniques and materials and yet research takes time. Good quality randomised controlled research takes a lot of time, money and effort. Much easier to post your findings on Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat and bask in the adoration of your followers.

Here in lies the problem. Where does it stop? Surely we have a moral and professional obligation to be honest to ourselves, our colleagues and our patients in what we publish. Whether that be a new technique or material, a course that you are running or the latest award you are using to market yourself or your practice.

Have you really placed 5000 implants? Are you really a key opinion leader? Have you really had years of experience? Is this really a well researched technique? Are you really the No 1 practice in the country?

Or is it all flowery bullshit to get the next person to click like? The dopamine hit will only last for a moment. Then what?

Isn’t it time we started being a bit more honest? To ourselves, to each other and more importantly to our patients.

Unfortunately this requires insight, empathy, humility and an element of selflessness. This is becoming harder and harder for some, as the obsession with how we look to others takes hold.

We complain daily about the government, the NHS and the GDC but I am unsure how the profession can move forward until we can truly sit on the moral high ground, high above the fake news that surrounds us.

Time to sit back and stop looking at ourselves?