The further we go and the more we know, the more we realize how little we know… To make it even worse, about 50% of what we learn appears not to be true… The caveat is we have no „darn” clue which 50% it is. Additionally, as we travel around the world and look at how things are done in many different corners of the globe, we come to a conclusion there are many ways of doing the right thing and reaching the intended goal.
Our medical knowledge is quite imperfect… There is a significant number of huge gaps in what we know about the human species. That is why I dare saying we aren’t yet at the level of exact science. We are still practicing the art and science of medicine. Some believe it’s a happy marriage while others take it more as the necessary evil. No matter how we look at it, blind faith in the available literature is probably not the smartest thing to do. Evidence based brain farts smell equally bad.
Personally, I take everything with a grain of salt… Every time I read about some novelties I cannot stop wondering when someone is going to disprove them. Don’t get me wrong, I am quite excited to witness progress and advancement, though not all that glitters is gold… Some might accuse me of oversimplifying the sacred medical act, but with increasing complexity of medicine it is quite desirable to filter out all the nonsense. There are no holy grails in our profession. The only certainty we have is that life is a sexually transmitted condition with 100% mortality rate.
I am always quite thrilled to read about studies that question what we do in our clinical reality. I find it incredibly amusing to watch how we jump from A to Z. In my perception there are no studies without conflict of interest… We just decided to agree that lack of industry ties parallels the virtue of purity. Research is „desire-driven”, hence always at risk of betrayal. That is why I’ve abandoned the strategy of quoting study results and percentages to my patients. I don’t like hiding behind potentially misleading or even meaningless numbers. I read, I study, I keep up-to-date, and by the end of each shift I hope to have given my patient the options I would have preferred for myself or my loved one. That’s my „standard of care”!
With this somehow philosophical introduction I’d like to initiate the „brain fart demystified?” series. Occasionally, I’d like to share some articles that made me stop and ponder… It’s not my goal to change the way you think. I am not going to tell you how to practice medicine… I am just hoping to inspire some reflection… The conclusions will remain yours and only yours! Fair enough?