فعلاً رجل فذ؛ أول مدير للCochrane Library ومحرر James Lind Library، رجل قضى الثلاثين سنة الأخيرة من عمره يحاول جعل المعلومات الطبية غير المتحيزة في متناول الأطباء و المرضى، هذه مقتطفات من مقالة نشرت عنه في The Lancet كتبها Geoff Watts عنوانها: Iain Chalmers: Maverick master of medical evidence يوجد النص الكامل لها هنا.
When Iain Chalmers was offered a knighthood he was not sure whether to accept it. One colleague advised him to do so—but only if he used the title as a way of getting others to take note of the things he feels passionately about. On the assumption that it might just make a difference to some people who would otherwise dismiss his ideas, he did accept. He was knighted in 2000. But what value is assumption without evidence? Not a great deal in Sir Iain's book. Hence the notion of a randomised controlled trial in which certain letters he was having to write to such worthies as deans of medical schools would carry his title, whereas others would not. Would the outcomes be different? Alas we don’t know because his colleagues have never analysed the results. Had it been so, we might have had a study to rival Francis Galton's classic on the power of prayer.
...his appointment as the first director of the UK Cochrane Centre, later to become the seed of an international collaboration. Set up in 1992, the centre's task is to promote systematic review methods throughout medicine: a job description that might almost have had the initials “I C” stamped on it.
When asked to account for the course his life has taken, Chalmers talks of how, at the beginning of his career, he spent 2 years working for the UN Relief and Works Agency in Gaza. It was this experience, not some process of more cerebral consideration, that inspired his preoccupation with evidence. “Some of the treatments I had been taught to give at medical school were actually harming, and sometimes killing, my patients”, he recalls. “With the best of intentions, doctors and other health professionals can do harm. Everything starts from that.” The flame that had been forcefully ignited in Gaza continued to smoulder back in the UK during his years as an obstetric registrar. Reading Archie Cochrane served to fan it; a training in health services research at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine provided the necessary grounding, and set him on the new course.
Inspired by the organ donor card scheme, he carries a card making it clear that he wishes to be invited to take part in any clinical trial for which he is potentially eligible. “I carry that card out of pure self-interest”, he claims. When I suggest to Chalmers that he might be categorised as a trouble maker he embraces the description. He is clearly delighted to have been told that it was his “maverick” status that had won him inclusion in this year's National Portrait Gallery's photographic exhibition A Picture of Health. “It's because I sit somewhere in the interstices between academia and the health service”, he says. This maverick niche is one he counts himself privileged to have been allowed to fill.
الحمد لله =)