Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Why we need to talk about food

Over at Laura Collins' blog there's a compelling debate raging about treatment for eating disorders. It started with a link to a Student Doctor Network discussion about Maudsley (also known as family-based treatment).

The forum link is a peek into the minds of some medical/psych students who dismiss Maudsley treatment as something that might work only for "the very tame cases" (has anyone out there ever seen a "very tame case" of anorexia?). Students who know nothing about it say confidently that they would "never recommend it."

I would think that given the truly abysmal rates of recovery from eating disorders, medical professionals would be thrilled to learn about a treatment with positive results and an excellent track record. I've got a couple of suggestions for where to start: With this useful Q&A on Maudsley and this article about the University of Chicago's Daniel Le Grange.

And in answer to a comment made on the Student Doctor Network, I love what Dr. Le Grange says at the end of the article: "How can you not talk about food when your daughter is starving?"


Unknown said...

So much work to be done - but if parents stand up, as you have done, we can get the process moving!

Anonymous said...

Oh, Harriet, as a medical student I can tell you that it's not unusual for some of my classmates to look a faculty member straight in the eye and tell them, "Are you sure about that?" Or, "I think that information is irrelevant/mistaken/outdated/not evidence-based." I will tell you that I, myself, have questioned faculty privately because there's still a huge fat hatred bias in medicine, and because I have information that suggests that fat is not dangerous like they announce in class, and because, damnit, primum non nocere! I would, however, never stand up in front of everyone and say, "Well, y'all are idiots, and I have the Truth, and this physician professor does not." And it sounds like that's about what they're doing on SDN, which is a font of misinformation like no other online, except maybe Wikipedia. ;)

Harriet said...

I'm glad to hear that, Phledge. That the conventional wisdom is sometimes questioned. It's you students who are the hope of the profession, IMO.