Testing Treatments: Better Research for Better Healthcare

Book about medical reaseach, common fallacies and problems, and what makes good science when it comes to medicine. Worth reading just for the introduction.

“Medicine shouldn’t be about authority, and the most important question anyone can ask on any claim is simple: ‘how do you know?’ This book is about the answer to that question. There has been a huge shift in the way that people who work in medicine relate to patients. In the distant past, ‘communications skills training’, such as it was, consisted of how not to tell your patient they were dying of cancer. Today we teach students – and this is a direct quote from the hand-outs – how to ‘work collaboratively with the patient towards an optimum health outcome’. Today, if they wish, at medicine’s best, patients are involved in discussing and choosing their own treatments. For this to happen, it’s vital that everyone understands how we know if a treatment works, how we know if it has harms, and how we weigh benefits against harms to determine the risk. Sadly doctors can fall short on this, as much as anybody else. Even more sadly, there is a vast army out there, queuing up to mislead us”


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