I guess you shouldn't just accept your doctor's treatment at face value.

I guess you shouldn't just accept your doctor's treatment at face value.

When you visit a doctor, you probably assume the treatment you receive is backed by evidence from medical research. Surely, the drug you’re prescribed or the surgery you’ll undergo wouldn’t be so common if it didn’t work, right?

it is distressingly ordinary for patients to get treatments that research has shown are ineffective or even dangerous. Sometimes doctors simply haven’t kept up with the science. Other times doctors know the state of play perfectly well but continue to deliver these treatments because it’s profitable — or even because they’re popular and patients demand them. Some procedures are implemented based on studies that did not prove whether they really worked in the first place. Others were initially supported by evidence but then were contradicted by better evidence, and yet these procedures have remained the standards of care for years, or decades.

It's weird how difficult it is to even question what your doctor tells you to do, but it is difficult.

The first person the article talks about googled some stuff about treatment of coronary artery disease while he was sitting in the ER. The article notes that the reason he questioned his doctors (wrongly) suggested treatment was that the man was "unusually self-possessed".

When Evidence Says No, But Doctors Say Yes
Years after research contradicts common practices, patients continue to demand them and doctors continue to deliver. The result is an epidemic of unnecessary and unhelpful treatment.

  1. I bring a 20 sided dice with me when I get a colonoscopy done. One a roll of a 1, I go home in a bag. My GI isn't as amused as I am.

  2. This is a terrific article. Well-worth reading.

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