evidence-based medicine


MarginalRevolution has a discussion of the surprising lack of evidence for most medical procedures, and, the more general, primitive state of medicine.

I would find the above somewhat hard to believe, had I not recently had a little medical scare myself. I was surprised at how eager doctors are to treat symptoms without any clue as to underlying causes. In fact, 3 out of 4 specialist doctors that I saw wanted to operate on me (!), a serious operation which in hindsight would have fairly radically altered my life and in retrospect would have been completely unnecessary. Only after working through medical journals and research myself and after meeting with a young research doctor did I figure out that the problem would simply run its course and subside – which it did.

(Incidentally, if you think that this somehow radically alters my views on evidence-based management – it does not – more later on this matter.)


Written by teppo

October 16, 2006 at 4:39 pm

4 Responses

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  1. You probably know that saying “three doctors – four opinions”.
    Karin Knorr Cetina always points to the social construction of reality even the natural sciences which are supposedly very objective since they make extensive use of experimental research designs, and she shows how social construction of reality influences research procedures and results even in the science lab where it is probably least expected. I would guess that the multitude of theories and the knowledge of cognitive and social processes contributing to research in practice are one source of the competitive strenths of social sciences.



    October 16, 2006 at 10:46 pm

  2. […] evidence-based medicine […]


  3. Tina:

    Note that though 3 of 4 doctors called it something (cf. “social construction”), that nonetheless did not make it so (pace Weick, Latour), as there was an objective reality independent of what they thought.



    October 17, 2006 at 2:59 am

  4. […] Basically, the need for medical schools to be cutting edge has resulted in a poor state of training in prognosis and treatment, which is important but not glamorous. The vacuum is filled by firms whose interests aren’t so clear. The good news, according to the article, is that it’s an issue of training, which is time intensive but easy, but the bad news is that medical schools will probably need to appoint a guy like Bob Sutton to make it happen. […]


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