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Links of the Day:

– The Buffalo news has written a must-read story on LeRoy teens and conversion disorder. It’s a complete takedown of alternative theories to their illness. The news interviews a neurologist whose practice tested and treated the girls. He’s concerned some have rejected the conversion disorder diagnosis and are no longer seeking treatment:

No amount of media coverage or speculation these past few weeks has changed that diagnosis. Even the speculating psychologists and physician contributors on national TV do not dispute the findings.

“People do not want to accept that,” said Dr. Lazlo Mechtler, one of two neurologists at Dent Neurologic Institute who have evaluated 12 of the 15 cases that have come to light so far. “They live a conspiracy life in a bioterrorist world.”

<snip>

…a number of patients have improved since they began treatment, and two are now fine.

<snip>

Health professionals who have studied mass psychogenic illness say heightened attention only worsens symptoms.

This doctor has given several interviews since the story went national to stop misinformation. Is it now time for the media to back off in the absence of any other evidence causing the illness? It’s a complicated topic I wrote about yesterday.

– An opinion piece in the New York Times says hysteria in teenage girls happens.

– Those Xerox call center jobs will pay only $25,000. Xerox, a multi-billion dollar corporation, could end up paying nothing for the project.

– A Webster teacher has a suggestion for teacher evaluations. Have parents ask teachers how much they know about each child.

– She was a CIA agent and mother killed in Afghanistan by a suicide bomber. Some are blaming her for her own death.

6 Responses to The Doctor Speaks

  1. It’s interesting that you highlight that the jobs will only pay $25k (not true – there will also be management jobs in the $55k range) and NOT the statement that backs up what I commented on yesterday – that the state will get ALL THAT MONEY BACK in taxes paid by the workers who might otherwise not have had jobs.

    You are making up news where there isn’t any, by sensationalizing a relatively minor investment that will pay back in serious dividends, with penalties for Xerox if it does NOT pay back. There are times when government’s investment in a project is not the right thing. This isn’t one of those times. Move on. Write a story about FIRST robotics, or something else positive for a change.

    Also – yes it is time for the media to back off the Leroy girls story – exactly what the school asked you to do. To some extent the hysteria promulgated by the media is CAUSING the conversion syndrom symptoms. If Erin Brokovitch wants to go sample something maybe she should go pick up a newspaper or watch the 6 o clock news.

    • Lee, I appreciate your insight into the Xerox call center. Many people agree with you. But I still think it’s in the public interest to relay this information and let the public decide if they’re okay with the call center subsidies. It’s not making up the news – it’s reporting facts and letting you make up your mind – which you have. The Xerox story isn’t just about Xerox. It’s about this trend all across the country.

      I am very concerned about sensationalizing the LeRoy story and giving credence to every conspiracy theorist that comes along.

      • Sometimes the choice of words can put a positive / negative spin on a headline. The D&C headline link was “Xerox gets aid for jobs paying $25,000” Rachel’s version of that headline was “Those Xerox call center jobs will pay only $25,000”. The word ONLY puts a much different spin on the same headline, and it’s not a positive one.

  2. January 29, 2012 at 4:54 pm James Simons responds:

    It said the management jobs average in the 55k range. Which means there could be one or two top management jobs around 6 figures and most likely the rest of middle management will make in the 30s to 40s tops.

    My wife currently works in a call center, and we have several friends who work in different call centers than her. The average pay for the workers is spot on with what this article says. Furthermore, the centers are typically open every day of the year, with minimal vacation time given. The managers really don’t make that much.

    YES, they are new jobs. But lets not kid ourselves into thinking this is a great boon for the area. If you replace all of the decent paying manufacturing and office jobs in the area with service jobs that pay half, then there is a problem. I don’t think most people have a problem with some tax incentives to create jobs like these. However, is it really necessary for them to recoup almost all of their costs through tax breaks? All levels of government need to focus more on what kind of jobs are being created, and not just how many.

  3. January 29, 2012 at 6:18 pm Catherine responds:

    Regarding the LeRoy girls – perhaps it would be helpful to report on the girls who have recovered so that the rest of us are not perplexed by this mystery. It has been reported in such a light as to indicate these girls are suffering with an incurable, mysterious ailment. Sensationalism?

    • Great idea, if those girls are willing.

      Yes, I think it is sensational to hammer the “mystery” angle without discussing conversing disorder in depth.

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