Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Don't believe something just because the person who told you was a medical specialist.

The #evidencebasedmedicine movement has been around for decades, but the old guard of medicine still cling to the alternative - Eminence Based Medicine. You have to believe something just because a "medical expert" got up and said "the evidence shows...", when it does no such thing. If you want the best answer, look at the evidence yourself. Sackett said look at the best evidence. Don't reject something because it doesn't fit a particular professor's definition of "good" evidence. Did the research study people like you in most respects? Did it measure outcomes that are important to you? eg quality of life, absence of fatigue, ability to play sport at your desired level? Did it measure marginal or conditional probabilities?

My definition of good evidence is quite different from most doctors. Perhaps that is why I am successful. Heckman's Nobel Prize winning work on this subject will be the subject of a future post.
Unfortunately, many doctors only quote Heckman when his methods support their theories. Doctors are terrible at looking for evidence that might contradict their current beliefs.

I am not an endocrinologist, but I do have far more formal education in the mathematical analysis of scientific research than any endocrinologist I know.

Of course you should not believe me just because I do maths. I would be a complete hypocrite if I suggested that. If you want the best answer, learn enough about diabetes, addison's and maths that you can work it out yourself. If you want a simple answer of average quality, do something different.