More Great Ridiculous Studies by Bennett Cohen MD


I’ve been collecting these for a while. They are a mixed bag – some are simply funny in the reading, some are so obvious that it seems absurd that research money would spent on the surveys/studies reported and that the findings would be thought to be newsworthy.

They come from the APA’s Office of Communications & Public Affairs daily news email:

  • Hamster Study Examines Differences In Jet Lag.

  • Grizzly bears may help researchers better understand obesity in humans.

  • Study: Memory may be altered by new experience.

  • Small Study May Help Explain Reason For Fear Of Snakes.

  • Small Study: Marijuana May Either Ease Or Agitate The Mind.

  • Small Study: Non-Adherence May Be Common In Patients With Schizophrenia.

  • Small Study: Carbon Monoxide In Low Doses May Relieve Urban Stress.

  • Small Study: Shorter People May Be More Likely To Suffer From Paranoia, Mistrust.

  • Report: Mental Health Costs For Post-9/11 Veterans “Will Be Hefty.”

  • Many Combat Veterans Deal With Debilitating Psychological Wounds.

  • Substance Abuse, Depression, Suicide Found In US Military Personnel, Vets.

  • Scan Study Suggests Brain May React To Seeing A Caress.

  • CDC Report Suggests Many Smokers Attempt To Quit.

  • Many Physicians Express Frustration With Insurance Companies.

  • Physicians Who Are Sued May Experience Depression, Increased Suicidal Thoughts.

  • Many Physicians May Be “Going Broke.”

  • Study: Cognitive Decline May Begin In Middle Age.

  • Eating Disorders May Lead To Multiple Physical Problems.

  • Dementia Patients May Be Far More Likely To Be Hospitalized.

  • Experts: Women With Breast Cancer May Often Struggle With Depression.

  • Many Survivors Of Head And Neck Cancer May Experience Depression.

  • Study: Recession May Be Taking Toll On Families.

  • Working Long Hours May Increase Depression Risk.

  • Falling Behind On Mortgage Payments May Harm Physical, Psychological Health.

  • Long-Term Unemployment Associated With Mental Health Issues.

  • Unexpected Loss Of Loved One May Trigger Range Of Psychiatric Disorders.

  • Violence Against Women May Damage Long-Term Mental Health.

  • Stress May Impact Kids’ Health, Well-Being.

  • Growing Body Of Research Suggests Laughing May Benefit Health.

  • APA’s Oldham: Psychiatric Medications Often Relieve Suffering.

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  1 comment for “More Great Ridiculous Studies by Bennett Cohen MD

  1. June 21, 2014 at 7:49 am

    Often, the research is mis-titled and watered down in the paper by a non-scientist writer, and placed out there in uninterpretable form. I can recall several times when a good discovery was put forth for publication, and it took me a week to sort through the popular media to find out what the discovery actually was.
    That being said, there is a lot of rubbish being published, especially regarding medicine. It dates back perhaps a hundred years, when the Flexner Report came out. Mr. Flexner was a man of his time. His gold-standard was the physician-scientist; a lovely target, considering there were no such things as antibiotics when he wrote his epistle. But since the then held a forty-year reign as Commissar of Medicine, in a sense, it all became Flexner’s way. The more “sciency” an individual or a school became, the more legitimate it was, said Mr. Flexner.
    He was not a doctor – he was merely the first person to seize great control over medicine to help it develop the way he thought fit. He’d never set foot in a medical school until he began to write his report.
    So, publish or perish became the motto – and the LPU (Least Publishable Unit) became the quantum of medical research.
    One of his greatest contributions to medicine was his lifting of one of Lenin’s concepts, the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, and bringing it home into American Medicine. Doctors are in every sense the property of the legitimate state – one that is owned by the patients, workers and peasants. But those people do not know what they need, so a harsh and decisive hand is needed to steer the ship in the direction it MUST go. Read Flexner’s report, and Lenin’s “What is to be Done?” – They’re both on-line.
    We seem to be full-speed-ahead in converting American Public Medicine into a copy of the old Soviet Clinics. Quality-wise, we are. In the USSR, there were many layers of oversight of the clinics – an entire pyramid of bureaucrats balanced on the head of one doctor. The national life-span exceeded 60 years, comrade! More regulation, more control, and more bureaucracy. Perhaps, some day, we can rival the clinics of the Dear Leader in Pyongyang – his clinics, by definition, are perfect!
    So – it’s not that we sailed in the direction of the physician-scientist; we just forgot to stop when we reached the other shore. Now that we’re fifty miles inland, we might wish to set anchor.

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