Cognitive Errors and Diagnostic Mistakes is a superb new guide to critical thinking in medicine written by Jonathan Howard. It explains how our psychological foibles regularly bias and betray us, leading to diagnostic mistakes. Learning critical thinking skills is essential but difficult. Every known cognitive error is illustrated with memorable patient stories.
The opioid crisis and growing awareness of the dangers of addiction to pain medication are prompting renewed calls for the use of pill placebos in place of active treatments, backed by familiar claims about the magical powers of the placebo.
The idea that antidepressants are no more effective than placebo has been put to rest. They clearly work when used appropriately, although the effect size is not as large as the published studies have suggested.
Medical research has been plagued by less-than-rigorous practices and a culture that rewards quantity over quality. In a new book, Richard Harris identifies the problems, proposes solutions, and offers hope.
A recent systematic review has been touted as demonstrating that "mind-body" practices like yoga can reprogram our DNA. There are several reasons to doubt these claims, not the least of which is the history of bias in past studies on this topic.
A week after Donald Trump was elected, I speculated about how he would affect medical science policy. Now, 80 days into the Trump administration, we have some observations.