(Posted by Patrick Sullivan Jr.)
Compliments of Ashleigh Anderson, the infamous Orac of "Respectful Insolence" has been unmasked.
David H. Gorski
UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Department of Surgical Oncology
The Cancer Institute of New Jersey
From Ashleigh Anderson's post on the EOH Yahoo board. (You have to be an approved member of the group to view posts, so I've posted the whole thing here):
To Professor Gorski's credit, he did say that if you look hard enough, you can figure out who he is. (And one clue that I noticed was when a friend of his commented on his blog, "Dave, where do you get the time for this? It's cool.")
So basically, this "unmasking" is pretty much a non-event. HOWEVER, after arguing ad nauseum with "Gorac," it is good to finally have some disclosure. It would have been much more credible if it had come from him directly, especially after the repeated calls for disclosure from numerous commentors.
Professor Gorski, I do have one question: In your blog profile, you say, "I'm an academic surgeon and scientist..." and in the description of your blog, you say "Miscellaneous ramblings of a surgeon/scientist..." and in your medical disclaimer, you say "...the author's hospital, university, surgical practice, or partners."
So why don't you have any initials after your name? It seems to me that you have allowed everyone, including me, to believe that you are a real doctor.
UPDATE 9/14 8:27pm from Pat and Patrick Jr. - After discussing this post and the comment by Kev regarding Professor Gorski's contact info being posted, we decided that we didn't want to give the impression of this being a character assasination. So we pulled out the contact information from the post. (As Patrick Jr. notes in his reply to back to Kev, the contact info is still available from his profile page, so it is sort of a moot point, but...)
It is not our intention to "unmask" Orac so that anyone can cyber-stalk/spam/etc. him!! We are proponents of civil debate and discussion. We don't want to promote the type of character assasination that is unfortunately, quite common on Orac's blog.
We have both spent way too much time trying to defend what we believe are highly plausible reasons for numerous things that we believe on Orac's blog, only to then be ridiculed and attacked personally, all the while ignoring and dodging our arguments. (There are many others who have experienced this as well.)
Orac believes what he believes and has every right to express that. We happen to think he is very biased, closed-minded, and often just plain wrong. He also loves to call people terrible names assasinating their character instead of simply stating why he disagrees. And I don't think I've ever see him concede any point, ever! (It is not unlike the near total breakdown in civil discourse at the national political level.)
The "unmasking" is still appropriate because at least now we know who and what we are dealing with.
UPDATE 9/14 8:57pm from Patrick Jr. - I just read Ashleigh's comment on this post which lead to this page. Searching for "orac" I found this:
From: email@example.com (ORAC)
Date: 10 Dec 1997 15:05:57 GMT
ORAC |"A statement of fact cannot be
a.k.a. | insolent." ORAC
David H. Gorski, M.D., Ph.D. |
University of Chicago |
The MD and PhD shocked me considering that I was under the impression he wasn't a doc. So I googled "University of Chicago" "David H. Gorski" which led to this 1998 Univ of Michigan newsletter. Bottom of page 20 has:
David H. Gorski (BSC 1984, MD 1988;
PhD 1994, Case Western Reserve (Cellular
Physiology)) is a Fellow in Surgical
Oncology at the University of Chicago.
I would say that I stand corrected from my earlier question to Gorac...He's a doc after all. No way a Michigan newsletter from 1998 was faked.
UPDATE 9/14 9:07pm from Patrick Jr. - I changed the title of this post from "Orac Unmasked - Assistant Professor David H. Gorski" to "Orac Unmasked - David H. Gorski, M.D., Ph.D. (Updated)" It seemed like the right thing to do.
UPDATE 9/14 10:02pm from Patrick Jr. - I emailed Orac earlier today, so after my new discovery, I thought it was only fair to own up to my mistake and email him again:
Dave, I did a few more googles on my own tonight and found out that lacking initials on your UMDNJ page, you actually do appear to be a real MD and PhD. There's no way I'm going to believe that a Michigan newsletter from 1998 was faked, as much I did sort of like the idea of you not being a real doctor. (Trading places, I'm sure you'd have felt the same way... ;-)
So since I was wrong, I quickly updated/corrected Pat's blog. Not sure if you'll actually care, but I thought it was only fair to ping you.
Here's to disclosure and civil discourse.
Professor Gorski/Orac, it's nice to finally meet you.
Patrick Sullivan Jr.
480.212.9000 | firstname.lastname@example.org
14500 N. Northsight Blvd. Ste 112
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
The leading resource for chronic conditions.
Pat Sullivan Blog: www.PatSullivan.com
UPDATE 9/14 10:59pm from Patrick Jr. - Orac replies...
From: Orac [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Wednesday, September 14, 2005 10:08 PM
To: Patrick Sullivan
Subject: Re: This is you right? CORRECTION
Quite frankly, I have no idea what you wrote the first time around, as I didn't bother to check it out. I was too busy tonight. (I foolishly agreed to host the History Carnival today when I should have been able to foresee that work would be busy this week. Stupid.)
You should now realize that everything I have said about myself and about my reasons for using a pseudonym is true.
--- My reply back to Orac ---
From: Patrick Sullivan
Sent: Wednesday, September 14, 2005 10:52 PM
Subject: RE: This is you right? CORRECTION
Dave, I find it difficult to believe that you weren't in the least bit curious to read about your unmasking, but I'll just take you at your word. (Maybe you've been unmasked a dozen times before and it's become old hat?)
I honestly never thought that you were outright lying about being a doc, though my suspicions to the contrary increased every time you refused a request to disclose your identity. Motives are important things to consider, that's why I'm such a big believer in full disclosure.
I have read most (all?) of your reasons for why you desire to remain anonymous...I sort of get it, but I really don't. Why hide when disclosure would have been on your side? After all, you really are a doc!
This is very much a rhetorical point as I know you have no intention of changing -- which is fine! I don't really care. In order to move on, we can hopefully agree to disagree. And regardless, your previously unknown credentials have never been the basis of any of my arguements with you.
If not to disclosure, here's to civil discourse. Good luck with the history carnival.