Some Treatments Just Don’t Work – But doctors use them anyway. The case for evidence-based medicine.

It’s always great to see science, evidence, and critical thinking make it’s way into the main stream…

[Originally posted at: Newsweek]

In for a dime, in for a dollar, my father always said—so since I already have what seems like every psychologist in the country furious at me for writing about a report that takes the profession to task for practicing forms of therapy that have no scientific support, and half the doctors annoyed at me for noting the disconnect between what treatments they offer and which ones are supported by solid empirical evidence, I’ll wade into these treacherous waters yet again. By “treacherous waters,” I mean evidence-based medicine (EBM): choosing treatments based on the clinical evidence that they work.

This, of course, has become a huge theme in the current health-care debate, since rejecting treatments without such support, and sticking to those shown to work, promises to reduce the country’s health-care bill. Of course, practicing medicine should not be like following a cookbook recipe. If doctors conclude that an individual patient is very different from those in studies that showed a particular treatment to work, they might be justified in treating that patient with something other than the EBM-supported drug or procedure. The trouble is that too many doctors think they have exceptional patients.

[Read the rest of this post at: Newsweek]

About Rodibidably

Jeff Randall is a frequent volunteer for free-thought organizations, including the Center For Inquiry – DC. Having been blogging since January 2008, he decided that a community of bloggers would be an interesting new experience (or at the very least a fun way to annoy his friends into reading his posts more frequently). Since finding out about about the existence of, and then joining, the atheist/skeptic community in 2007 he has been committed to community activism, critical thinking in all aspects of life, science, reason, and a fostering a secular society.
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