[Question] What would “The Medical Model Is Wrong” look like?

So you’ve been reading down a rabbit hole and you have seen something that doesn’t make sense. You feel a quiver in your heart that feels like a cross between excitement and fear. Could all the people who already know stuff be Wrong™. Could eminent researchers in their field be working on a wrong model?

Maybe you have a disease or condition and you followed the directions of the doctors or experts exactly and found results opposite to the intended results. That’s when you started googling. You found an obscure blog written in 2005 by someone with the same problem. You find a few people proposing a different working mechanism and you are rapidly falling down the rabbit hole…

IF and that’s a big bold and underlined “if”, the experts are wrong… What is the shape of the world you would expect to see? What “evidence” would you need before you started getting excited, calling national newspapers and demanding your Nobel prize for groundbreaking research?

For consideration, what information on these layers of existence would matter:

  1. Personal—you can’t always do experiments, but maybe there’s something available?

  2. Anecdotal—you can’t just ask around, or can you? What counts as valid?

  3. Research papers—you are probably not the only one, but you might have to dig to find the papers. What if you can find them? What if you can’t understand them?

  4. Academics—locked up in their ivory towers, sometimes they do invent new working models. There’s a lot of global academic institutions, how many of them need to be muttering of discourse to matter as genuine evidence?

  5. Medical—You might find a rogue doctor claiming to fix chronic fatigue with seawater but when is it time to start taking them seriously? (Warning: I haven’t even googled this to check if there is one person doing this)

  6. Countercultural experts—There’s this one guy on Youtube that is yelling about it. When is it time to take him seriously?

  7. Communities—okay there’s a Facebook, Reddit or obscure forum community forming of people with the same problem, but they aren’t very scientific about working out what is and isn’t working. When do they become legitimate sources?

  8. Someone claims to have completely made the condition disappear using arbitrary methods. There’s challenge but there’s some evidence here?

  9. Models—you ask many experts. They say you are wrong but can’t explain why in effective ways. They send you to papers that don’t quite prove what they are claiming. When you point that out, they get grumpy and communicate less.


I’m interested in the nature of dissent, what it feels like, how to quantify it’s validity and how to integrate it better into the scientific process. Science MUST disagree with itself but it often rejects disagreement without taking it seriously.

What does valid dissent look like?

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