Monday, 14 December 2009

Too much faith....in medicine

As a family doctor I've become increasingly aware of the trust which patients put in all forms of screening. The oft repeated refrain of 'I'd rather catch it early' in fact betrays a lack of realisation of the limits of screening. Yet I find it so hard to explain to my patients. Such is the power of the media and the private health sector in the UK who use TV adds to imply that preventative CT scans and blood tests will inevitably lead to improved health. Yet it's so much more subtle than that.


So I was pleased to pick up this article from the US (where much of the 'preventativ' hype stems from!!). It's worth a read. And yes, discuss with the doctor the value of screening. Because some types are undoubtedly valuable, for others the jury is still out, and some are downright misleading.
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