Tuesday, 30 October 2012

I love the Daily Mail

OK I exaggerate. But today's front page  article on the over diagnosis of breast cancer is about as helpful a medical article in the Daily Mail as  I've seen. On most occasions the medical articles are hype, inaccurate, and generally fairly derogatory of doctors. I confess I have an inward groan each time a patient produces a crumpled Mail cutting.

Today's article raises the difficult qunderies which we all eventually face whether as patients or doctors, in how to make decisions based upon inadequate information.  As a GP that is the nature of much of my work, where multiple decisions are made quickly, and when full information is not available. Hence the perennial complaint that a doctor hasn't diagnosed a problem soon enough is often often unfair. In the early stages of many illnesses there are no specific signs pointing to one diagnosis. It's one thing to recognises that a car is coming towards you, but it's only when it gets nearer that I can more confidently say what make and model it is.

I'm glad the Mail has acknowledged the complexity of medical decision making. I'm also glad, in view of a recent post on the problem of over diagnosis, that the subject is getting an airing.

Post a Comment

The Long Walk

It's always a bit chancy to give someone a book. A little like recommending a restaurant. Will others like it? Will the service be as go...