The medical system (and much of the culture) these days is focused on group outcomes, not individuals. Personally, I think that stinks.
In medicine, this failing comes from improper use of what was originally a good idea—evidenced based medicine (EBM). EBM was developed to help overcome anecdotal medicine, in which a seemingly successful therapy in one patient gets adopted by a physician as the “way to go” and then preached to his trainees as the management of choice, and over time becomes unexamined gospel. “Anecdote-based medicine” is a form of groupthink, and groupthink is bad in general and particularly bad for the patient sitting in front of us on an exam table.
There needed to be some way to help doctors realize that an individual patient response is not generalizable to others.
EBM evaluates groups of patients to determine statistical responses to interventions. It was created (initially) to help doctors determine whether an intervention is likely to work in an individual patient. In that way, it was originally kind of the obverse of anecdotal medicine.
Medical students have one of the toughest jobs around. You are expected to diagnose, treat … Read more