Medicine

For content related to the science and practice of medicine

True North, or 'Has Medicine Lost It's Way?'

What is True North for medicine? Is there an enduring core value that serves as a reliable touchstone across the nearly infinite range of medical activities? Given how medicine and society change, can there even be an enduring True North? If we have one, are we pursuing it faithfully?  

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Why I speak up

I was asked by a colleague at work (someone who frequently but privately agreed with me but never spoke up publicly), “Why do you tilt at windmills?” Many have answered this better than I.

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Doing nothing - but doing it right

It’s always easier to do something than to do nothing. Doctors often offer treatments for things they know are what we call ‘self-limited’ meaning that they will clear up all by themselves.  I think this form of unnecessary treatment reflects an awareness that although many things resolve without intervention, both doctors and patients are driven to DO SOMETHING. Though it is usually tempered by the wish to do something as benign as possible, sometimes doing nothing is the best choice. The trick is knowing how to do nothing properly.

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