Snowball in a Blizzard: The Tricky Problem of Uncertainty in Medicine
|Author:||Steven C. Hatch|
According to a wry saying among radiologists, finding a tumour in a mammogram is like finding a snowball in a blizzard. Up to thirty percent of breast-cancer diagnoses are given to those who have no cancer at all. Medicine is subject to far more uncertainty than we commonly acknowledge. While it is portrayed a science, it can sometimes be scarily close to educated guesswork. Covering everything from the efficacy of Prozac to the regular barrage of health advice by the media, Snowball in a Blizzard is a profound meditation on why it's essential that doctors and their patients know what we don't know. The world is more complicated than we like to believe. Informed by years of frontline medical experience and filled with personal reflections, this important book is filled with counter-intuitive revelations about flawed reasoning, helpful guidance and hard-earned insight. It will change the way you view the health of yourself, your loved ones or your patients.
Wonderfully user-friendly. Like a conversation with a doctor that you'd trust with your life. This should be mandatory reading for anyone giving medical advice. -- Ray Tallis - author and former Professor of Medicine at the University of Manchester A masterful unmasking of medicine's unspoken secrets. Empowering and enlightening. -- James Davies, bestselling author of Cracked: Why Psychiatry is Doing More Harm than Good Like a "baloney detection kit" for medical scientific research. How can we figure out which "discoveries" to trust or to take with a grain of salt? First step: Read this book. Katrina Firlik, Neurosurgeon and author of Another Day in the Frontal Lobe: A Brain Surgeon Exposes Life on the Inside Masterfully-argued Larry Tye, Director of the Boston-based Health Coverage Fellowship and author of New York Times bestseller Satchel
Steven Hatch is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He is also a practicing physician, clinical consultant, and medical student educator. Prior to his medical training, Hatch worked as a science writer for the Boston University School of Medicine.