Lynn Goldman is a pediatrician?

If you trained for a brief time three decades ago to be a pediatrician, but then went on to a career of other activities, can you really claim to be a “pediatrician”?

Enviro activist Lynn Goldman responded to Steve Milloy’s “Show us the bodies, EPA” op-ed with a letter in the Washington Times.

In addition to failing to produce any “bodies” (or medical records) supporting the notion that air quality is sickening and killing hundreds of thousands of Americans annually, Goldman makes the laughable assertion that:

As a pediatrician, I have attended to children suffering from asthma attacks.

While it is true that Lynn Goldman completed a two-year pediatric residency upon completion of medical school in 1981, she seems to have done clinical work for only one year. The second year of her residency was a fellowship doing research at Love Canal, according to her National Library of Medicine bio.

In 1985, Goldman went to work for the California Department of Health Services, ending up as head of the Division of Environmental and Occupational Disease Control. She then became the EPA toxics chief in the Clinton administration and in 2001 began her stint in academia. While she maintains a California medical license, her Maryland (where she lives) medical license expired in 2006.

I will leave it to practicing physicians to pass on whether such limited practice almost 30 years ago permits Goldman to credibly maintain that she is a pediatrician.

Finally, the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services announcement of her appointment as dean notes the following:

Reflecting upon the many hats she’s worn during her career, Dr. Goldman says she has been the most interested in the “invisible” environmental problems, such as lead poisoning, pesticide residues in food and chemicals in everyday products. [Emphasis added]

Did “invisible” air pollution casualties prompt her to posture as a “pediatrician” in attacking-but-evading Steve Milloy’s “Show us the bodies” challenge?

15 thoughts on “Lynn Goldman is a pediatrician?”

  1. Activists exaggerate the extent and harm of every environmental threat that they can imagine exists. Why should we be surprised that they also exaggerate their own qualifications?

  2. My children had very bad asthma when they were young, but have since outgrown it. More importantly though, we lived in the country at the time where air quality was about as good as it gets. This does not disprove that air pollution causes asthma, of course, but it’s just strong an argument as Lynn Goldman’s.

  3. Just a question for you, Steve Milloy — in your “Show Us the Bodies” hit piece, did you do any reporting? Did you ask EPA to walk you through their research and analysis of the decades of public health and pollution studies? Did you even reach out to EDF to ask whether the ad they are running is of a real girl with real asthma? You complain about sloppy science. What about sloppy journalism?

  4. Since the EPA has refused to show Congress how they arrive at their numbers in the past…..a private citizen’s chances of getting that information runs from somewhere between zero and never.

  5. What do you mean the EPA has refused to show Congress how they arrive at their numbers? All you have to do is Google “EPA Mortality and Air Pollution Study.” You will stumble upon this report: http://pubs.healtheffects.org/getfile.php?u=212. In it, you will find as much information as you can possibly hope to ever have about the connection between air pollution and mortality and the methodology of how EPA collects and reports on the data.

  6. Sort of how USEPA is requiring NYC to spend >$1 billion to cover ta reservoir that their analysis shows will prevent more that 100,000 cases of cryptosporidium illness each year out of the 108 per year that have occurred in NYC.

    As M. Twain said “There are lies, damn lies, and statistics.”

    You are a Pagliacci.

  7. JMJRAL, are you referring to the 1997 NYC Watershed Memorandum of Agreement? If so, you do realize that this was a result of extensive negotiations between EPA, NYC and the state of New York, along with other local townships, and community and environmental groups to help NYC avoid having to spend multiple billions of dollars to install a water filtration system? In other words, this was a win-win-win compromise agreement that assures clean water at a much lower cost that matches the water quality standards of not only the EPA but also the state of New York.

  8. At an industry meeting 10 or 12 years ago, I asked, in open forum, a rep of EPA to tell me if EPA’s numbers for incidences of asthma (which had jumped recently) were a real and measurable trend of clinical diagnoses or the byproduct of redefining “asthma” – the guy from EPA dodged the question, but did take my card and promised a response. A couple of months later, he emailed me to say that EPA’s “asthma” definition also included “asthma-like symptons.” So there you go: more lies, damn lies and statistics.

  9. Sam,
    Did you read it? I saw lots of talk about estimates, “novel methods”, and computer modeling. And in the end all the come up with are weak correlations. There are potentially hundreds of confounding factors and they only considered a couple. I’m not impressed.

  10. In the interests of full disclosure, so that we can consider the source: Sam Parry’s ID at LinkedIn states that he is “Director Online Membership at Environmental Defense Fund.” Caveat emptor.

  11. Paul Penrose — Yes, I’ve read much of the report (I confess I have not read all 89 pages). The caveats and explanations they site in their statistical modeling are very standard, almost boilerplate stuff for reports like this. As I’ve commented in another thread, though there tends to be much skepticism from the right about scientists and their methods, scientists themselves chuckle at this skepticism because science tends to be an extremely cautious discipline with overly detailed descriptions of methodology and findings to make sure all T’s are crossed and I’s dotted.

    But, this report almost couldn’t be any clearer in their conclusion: “The results of both the 20 cities and 90 cities analyses are generally consistent with an average approximate 0.5% increase in overall mortality for every 10 g/m3 increase in PM10 measured the day before death. This effect was slightly greater for deaths due to heart and lung disease than for total deaths.”

    Translation: air pollution kills people.

    And, here’s the bigger point. This is one of Lord knows how many dozens of similar reports. In order to deny a connection between air pollution and mortality, you have to not only deny the findings of this study, but all other similar ones.

    It’s an uphill climb for you, my friend. A very steep uphill climb.

  12. I obviously don’t know the specifics of your conversation, but scientists from across the public health spectrum have struggled for many years to pinpoint a cause of asthma.

    There is little doubt that asthma rates are on the rise, even accounting for better diagnosis. And there is no doubt that air pollution is one of many triggers for asthma attacks. Pollution can also trigger asthma-like symptoms even for those who don’t have asthma.

    I’m not sure what’s so confusing about this.

  13. The problem is that asthma is on the rise despite a massive drop in pollution over the past few decades. I don’t know why asthma has risen, but even the most basic of analyses excludes air pollution as a cause of the rise.

  14. I make no bones about who I am. Prove me wrong on one of my claims.

    This seems to be an evidence-free site.

  15. Ben of Houston — Yes, pollution is down in recent years (thanks to the Clean Air Act) and I’m not sure anyone has shown a clear link between asthma and pollution.

    The link that is clear and unchallenged as far as I know is that on bad air pollution days, asthma attacks are more frequent. If you have a source that questions the link between air pollution and asthma attacks, I’d love to see it.

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