Thursday, October 29, 2015

The most-tweeted quote from my AHCJ presentation was

"Experts" and laypersons view new medical evidence through the lens of their own biases.

That being said, it's important for patients to consider their physicians' biases in the context of their overall health. A man's urologist may be bound and determined to do everything he or she can to prevent death from prostate cancer (including annual PSA tests), but since 3% of men actually die from prostate cancer, 97% will die of something else. Family physicians and general internists who agree with the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force that the harms of PSA-based screening outweigh the benefits for most men are biased toward preventing statistically much more probable causes of premature death.

Thanks to NPR's Scott Hensley and the Association of Health Care Journalists for inviting me to speak at their Workshop in Evidence-Based Medicine today.