You're Getting Too Much Healthcare | The Atlantic

How do we cure this plague—an intimate understanding of the probabilistic nature of medicine and effective communication. Nothing in modern medicine is absolute [1]; every diagnostic investigation and therapeutic intervention comes with benefits and risks. Unfortunately, the human mind struggles with accurately quantifying probabilities, both as doctors and patients. This is why communication is so critical. The word ‘doctor’ finds its roots in the Latin word docere, to teach. We have to take the time to educate our patients, to help them understand the complex, probabilistic nature of medicine. Time is limited, but critical to ensuring high quality care.


  1. Genomic medicine has the potential to change this and bring us closer to more precise, personalized medicine, but we have a long way to go in this field.  ↩

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