In our last blog I introduced the 4 Attributes (See like a skeptic, Think like a scientist, Talk like a doctor, Stand like a hero) as a framework to develop a bulletproof (or BS-proof) identity as a BS Master. In this blog we’ll expand on this framework to discuss the 3 core resources you will need to master these attributes. This is summarized in this table. A brief explanation is provided below and future blogs (and book) will be dedicated to expanding on these ideas.

Attribute\ResourceMindsetSkillsetToolset
See like skepticBulllshit happensCritical thinkingBS Detector
Think like scientistShow me the evidenceScientific methodPubmed
Speak like doctorI know what I’m talking aboutTalking to healthcare professionalsQuestion Prompt List
Stand like heroThe wellbeing of people I love mattersAdvocacyCommunity
  1. Mindset: Your attitude sets the stage for success or failure.

Your mindset or attitude determines not only how you approach a situation but whether or not you even recognize that you have the freedom to change the situation.

  • The mindset of a skeptic is a wariness and readiness to doubt the truth or intentions of information, products and experts. In other words “bullshit happens.”
  •  The mindset of a scientist is a desire to see and understand the actual research before accepting anyone else’s conclusions. In other words “show me the evidence.”
  • The mindset of a doctor is the confidence that healthcare providers should treat me as an equal and that I should be involved and informed in decisions about my health. In other word “I know what I’m talking about.”
  •  Lastly, the mindset of a hero is a passion for those he or she loves and the courage to stand up for them. In other word, “the wellbeing of people I love matters.”

2. Skillset: Your knowledge, actions and habits put you in control.

Now that your mindset has recognized an opportunity to prevent BS from happening to you, your skillsets allow you to handle the situation. As your skills grow, so too will your confidence which reinforces your mindset.

  • The skillset of the skeptic is critical thinking—being able to recognize common sources of bias, logical traps, and nonsense
  • The skillset of the scientist is the scientific method—being able to determine what conclusions can be drawn from observations and experiments
  • The skillset of the doctor is talking with other healthcare professionals—being able to ask the right questions, understand the answers, and let your needs be known.
  • The skillset of the hero is advocacy—knowing how to stand up for your rights and knowing where to turn for support.

3. Toolset: The right tools makes this work easier and more reliable.

Preventing medical BS is not always easy. Having tools like checklists, reliable websites, and other resources can support your skills, help you to be more confident and make this work easier.

  • The toolset of the medical BS includes a BS Detector, a list of red flags to help you recognize unreliable experts and worthless or harmful products.
  • The toolset of the scientist includes Pubmed, a reliable website to find the evidence (or lack of evidence) you need to make decisions.
  • The toolset of the doctor includes a Question Prompt List (QPL – see this example), a list of questions to get the most of any healthcare encounter.
  • The toolset of the hero includes a community, a group of people you trust to discuss your situation and to provide encouragement when you are feeling overwhelmed or hopeless.