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New Study Finds Many Established Medical Practices Are Not Effective or Worse

Posted Friday, July 12, 2019 by Tyler Goldberg-Hoss

Often doctors in the medical negligence context like to describe medicine as just as much art as science. Typically these are doctors paid to represent defendant colleagues, and the point they are trying to make is that medicine is not perfect, and doctors should get a pass when something goes wrong.

Sometimes this argument has merit. However, sometimes it does not, particularly when evidence based research and literature does not support the doctor’s decision that caused the patient harm.

And sometimes, a doctor’s decision-making is based on literature that has been found to be inaccurate, leading to what those in the industry call “Medical Reversals” – when new research shows that a current medical practice doesn’t work, does more harm than good, or worse.

A recent study found that there are currently 400 (!) Medical Reversals, many of which have not resulted in actual clinical practices changing. Doctors who prescribe medications, or surgeons who perform procedures, may continue to do so “the old way”, instead of adapting to contemporary thinking.

The results of this study raise two important points.

First, for a variety of reasons medical practices evolve based on literature that may or not be intellectually rigorous enough to support a change in practice. If doctors are on to the new thing too quickly, and without sufficient scientific support, they may be unnecessarily risking the health of their patients.

Second, when data does come out refuting an existing practice, it is incumbent on the medical profession to change to account for this new way of thinking. If it doesn’t, and it insists on doing things the way they’ve always been done, patients are again subject to unnecessary risks.

Medicine may still be some part “art”, but as the science of treating human beings continues to evolve, everyone should want to improve their health and safety. To me, that means continuing to increase the percentage of medicine that is “science”.

You can read more on Medical Reversals here:

Hundreds of current medical practices may be ineffective

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