Changing one’s mind is hard. Changing the mind of doctors is even harder.
Doctors are supposed to be the medical experts. Often we are. But sometimes I wonder whether our attachments to old ideas gets in the way of seeing the obvious.
I am reading Michael Lewis’s book The Undoing Project. Learning how Kahneman and Tversky made their discoveries gets me thinking about how our minds trick us into missing important clues.
The information age levels the degree of expertise. Of course an internet connection and a smartphone does not transform people into skilled and experienced clinicians. What connectivity does do, however, is it allows anyone to look up the current evidence for or against a medical intervention.
In some cases, people without preconceived notions may be better judges of medical evidence.
Davide Epstein is a reporter for ProPublica and author of the Sports Gene. He’s written an important article on how tough if it is for doctors to incorporate new medical evidence into decision-making.
It’s called When Evidence Says No, but Doctors Say Yes. It’s worth your time.
I am quoted in it. So are lots of other giants in the field of common-sense medicine.