magnify"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal..." is "one of the best-known sentences in the English language" and is an important statement on human rights.

All people are equal in essence and equally deserving of dignity, respect, and "certain unalienable Rights."  But does that mean everyone's opinion is equal?  If my opinion is not the same as yours, am I biased?  Or are you?  Or is it all of the above?

Let me share some thoughts about what is a bias and what is a professional position.

For years I have been silent about many "controversial" aspects of my profession, not wanting to compel others to adopt my bias.

I've also been silent out of fear.

Stating anything that conflicts with "conventional wisdom" or the "commonly accepted community standard of care" could be held against you.  It could lead to licensure complaints and malpractice lawsuits. Even worse, someone might label you a quack.

But let's set fear aside and be clear about the difference between a bias and a professional position.

Bias is an opinion that is not based on reason, knowledge, or experience.

  • Disagreeing with my idea does not mean that you are biased -- it means we disagree.
  • Uncovering new knowledge does not mean that you are biased -- it means you continue to learn.
  • Discovering something new does not mean that you are biased -- it means you are innovative, astute, and attentive.
  • Having evidence and stating something that goes against conventional beliefs does not mean you are biased -- in means you are courageous.
  • Doing things a different way because you've read research and seen results does not mean that you are biased -- it means you are open to new ideas and progress. 

An informed professional position is an opinion that is logically reasoned, based on critical analysis of available information, and consistent with education and professional clinical experience.

I'll have more to say about this another day.