Can your doctor keep up to date?  

The next meeting of the Philosophy Society will be held on Thursday 20th January 2005 at the Erin Serracino Hall at 7.00pm.  Mr. Arthur Felice will consider the question: ëCan your doctor keep up to date?í

We live in an age when a patient searching the Internet begins to suspect she can obtain more information about her case than her doctor.  Clearing up her mind is a philosophical problem.  What counts as knowledge is a basic branch of philosophy relevant to everyday life.

How does the question affect the doctors themselves?  Academics and especially clinicians are expected to keep abreast of developments in their fields.  In the medical field this is rendered very difficult, mainly because of the prohibitively large volume of research information available, a proportion of which is flawed.  Doctors react differently to this situation.  Mr Felice has been invited to indicate methods for separating the wheat from the chaff in scientifically generated knowledge.  This will not eliminate the probabilistic nature of clinical practice, but may, hopefully, bring us near to the ëabsolute truthsí which are admittedly unattainable.

Arthur Felice is a committed consultant surgeon and a senior lecturer in surgery at the University of Malta Medical School.  He graduated in Malta in 1971, passed his Final Fellowship exams in Edinburgh in 1975 and worked in Aberdeen, Inverness, St. Georgeís (London) Hospitals and at St. Lukeís Hospital (Malta).  His publications range from highly specialised topics such as Functional Somatic Syndrome to others that are more general, such as New Medical Technology.

Professor Frank Ventura will respond.  The meeting will be chaired by Professor Victor Griffiths.  The general public is cordially invited to attend.

Mary Ann Cassar
10th January 2005