By Steven Hatch

There’s a operating comic story between radiologists: discovering a tumor in a mammogram is equivalent to discovering a snowball in a snowfall. a little bit clinical gallows humor, this simile illustrates the problems of discovering signs (the snowball) opposed to a historical past of noise (the blizzard). medical professionals are confronted with related problems on a daily basis whilst sifting via piles of information from blood exams to X-rays to unending lists of sufferer symptoms.

Diagnoses are frequently simply informed guesses, and prognoses much less sure nonetheless. there's a major quantity of uncertainty within the day-by-day perform of drugs, leading to confusion and most likely lethal problems. Dr. Steven Hatch argues that rather than ignoring this uncertainty, we must always embody it. through digging deeply right into a variety of rancorous controversies, from breast melanoma screening to blood strain administration, Hatch indicates us how medication can fail—sometimes spectacularly—when sufferers and medical professionals alike position an excessive amount of religion in glossy clinical know-how. the main to solid overall healthiness may well lie within the skill to acknowledge the hype created via such a lot of clinical reviews, feel while to push a doctor for extra trying out, or withstand a physician’s enthusiasm while pointless checks or remedies are being offered.

Both humbling and empowering, Snowball in a Blizzard lays naked the inescapable murkiness that permeates the speculation and perform of contemporary medication. crucial analyzing for physicians and sufferers alike, this publication exhibits how, via spotting instead of denying that uncertainty, we will all make higher healthiness judgements.

Show description

Read Online or Download Snowball in a Blizzard: A Physician's Notes on Uncertainty in Medicine PDF

Similar health books

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Walking for Health

You're no fool, after all. You've been intending to get on course to a happier, fitter existence, and you've heard that strolling burns an identical quantity of energy as walking. yet your direction, whereas paved with solid intentions, can also be jam-packed with roadblocks—like too little strength, or too many unwholesome distractions .

Taking Sides: Clashing Views in Health and Society, 9th Edition

Taking facets volumes current present debatable matters in a debate-style structure designed to stimulate scholar curiosity and strengthen serious considering talents. each one factor is thoughtfully framed with a topic precis, a subject advent, and a postscript or problem questions. Taking aspects readers function an annotated directory of chosen world-wide-web websites.

Creatine and Creatine Kinase in Health and Disease

Even if creatine was once chanced on already within the 1830s, it's only lately that its the most important function for human healthiness and basic future health has been more and more learned and liked. a few precious future health results were ascribed to oral creatine supplementation, equivalent to neuroprotective, ergogenic, anti-diabetic, anti inflammatory, antiviral, or antitumor results.

The Active Female: Health Issues Throughout The Lifespan

The energetic girl: healthiness concerns through the Lifespan investigates the becoming and ever-changing overall healthiness matters for ladies and girls who lead an energetic way of life and perform activities and workout. effortless to learn, the quantity offers a tutorial beginning for realizing how disordered consuming, amenorrhea, and osteoporosis could be interrelated whereas additionally snapshot problems and reproductive well-being.

Additional resources for Snowball in a Blizzard: A Physician's Notes on Uncertainty in Medicine

Sample text

I cannot promise to translate the often inscrutable language of physicians and the medical research that is their touchstone, but I can attempt to give people a tool by which real communication can take place. Nobody Knows Anything It may be unsettling to a reader thus far unaccustomed to these concepts to be told that uncertainty is central to modern medicine. A sense of despair can set in when discussions of probability and statistics take center stage in the doctor-patient interaction. Frank admissions of uncertainty can often be met with irritation, because the idea that a test doesn’t provide an unassailable answer that describes a crystal-clear reality is so foreign to many people.

By developing an appreciation for uncertainty, we can get at the heart of many of today’s medical mysteries. By bringing uncertainty into open discussion, we can assess the real value of mammograms, recognize the hype of so many medical reports, sense when to push a physician for more testing, or resist a physician’s enthusiasm when other tests or treatments are being offered. Ultimately, appreciating the subtleties and parameters of uncertainty allows patients and family members to be empowered.

This book is hopeful in its outlook, which I ask readers to keep in mind if they find themselves thinking in the early chapters how deeply flawed our medical practices truly are, and how foolish our certainties. My goal is to offer you a vision: read this book and you will learn something to improve your life and deepen your understanding of the process of medicine. I want readers to see how embracing uncertainty allows for more humane treatment, less anxiety, and better care. But to do that we will need to confront some sobering realities of our modern medical system.

Download PDF sample

Rated 4.64 of 5 – based on 13 votes