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Disturbing Talk About What Your Doctor Doesn’t Know

I have an app on my I-phone to a website called ted.com that has interesting speakers lecturing about a variety of timely topics. Listened to one this morning that is jaw-dropping in its revelations about what doctors don’t know about the medications they prescribe and incredibly damning of the concept of “evidence based medicine” that many insurance carriers would like to make the hallmark of the Arizona Workers Compensation system.  A link to the talk is below. 

What Doctors Don’t Know About the Drugs They Prescribe

Goldacre is a physician/researcher who talks about how negative trials of medicines or treatments don’t get published in peer-reviewed medical journals because they aren’t as sexy.  As a result, doctors don’t have all the information they need about medications and this can result in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of patients a year due to uninformed doctors. 

The part that caught my attention as a workers compensation attorney was what Goldacre described as the “cancer at the core of evidence based medicine”.  EBM is a system of medical care in which individual doctors’ choices are severely limited to pre-determined treatment based on “evidence” of research that has been done on that specific diagnosis.  Goldacre exposes the severe fundamental flaws in relying on the “literature” in making treatment decisions. 

Chad T. Snow is an attorney practicing in Phoenix and Tucson Arizona who represents workers injured on the job.  He can be reached through his firm’s website: Snow, Carpio, and Weekley.