Monday, August 13, 2007

A Kinder, Gentler Carlat Blog?

Recenly, Dr. Michael Posternak, a member of the Editorial Board of The Carlat Psychiatry Report, asked me if perhaps I had gotten a bit too personal in some older posts. He was referring specifically to this post in which I defended Joe Biederman during that blue June period when he was getting bashed by the Globe and several other parties. In that post, I made a couple of flippant remarks about "Charles 'bling bling' Nemeroff" and about the MGH Child Psychiatry Department being a "department in which psychiatrists can barely find the water fountain without industry support."

I was trying to be humorous, but I'll admit these come across as mean. And as someone who has been the object of many personal attacks, I know that it never feels particularly good, even when lobbed from the Wild Wild West of the Blogosphere. Therefore, I offer this post as my sincere apology to Dr. Nemeroff, and to MGH.


wetnurse said...

One man's personal attack is another man's "if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck..."

In other words, if Dr.Bling is bothered by such comments, it would seem that he would change the behavior that inspires them.

It is he who owes US an apology.


Anonymous said...

I think you were right on target.

soulful sepulcher said...

I don't know...the best thing you wrote in comments once on another blog said Biederman should "be skewered". That rocked. If a medical professional worries about appearing mean when attempting to expose the psych/med world to the public, youre gonna have to have some balls.oops.

Daniel Carlat said...


Maybe I am getting less ballsy. But I'll experiment with this procedure of attacking unethical behavior rather than the person behaving. It probably doesn't matter, because anyone that I mention negatively on my blog is basically going to hate me personally for the rest of my life, regardless of how otherwise "kind" I try to be!

Anonymous said...

You did NOT need to apologize!!!! Give me a break. These guys are harming and killing people every single day with their unethical and highly conflicted practices. You are trying to bring some reason back to the practice of mental health care.

soulful sepulcher said...

I think separating the behavior from the person is going to be difficult, since they are the same.It's kinda like the President becoming President, because he wanted to make "friends". Hated the rest of your life by an unethical low life isn't so bad. Because...the company we keep reflects ourselves.

Roy M. Poses MD said...

I do think it is usually possible to criticize the behavior rather than the person.

On the other hand, some times a little satire, or even sarcasm, makes the point more strongly.

I know y'all psychiatrists are trained to be sensitive.

But remember the consequences to patients, to academics, and to health care in general of the sorts of behaviors you criticize.