The claim that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the US has always rested on very shaky evidence; yet it's become common wisdom that is cited as though everyone accepts it. But if estimates of 250,000 to 400,000 deaths due to medical error are way too high, what is the real number? A study published last month suggests...
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.
James Alcock's new book about belief is a masterpiece that explains how our minds work, how we form beliefs, and why they are so powerful. It amounts to a course in psychology and an owner's manual for the brain.
Dr. Joe Schwarcz's new book is a banquet of easily digested, fascinating information about chemistry, history, science, alternative medicine, critical thinking, and current trends. It entertains as it informs.
In Tom Nichols' new book, The Death of Expertise, he explains how a misguided intellectual egalitarianism is harming our ability to assess the truth and solve problems, and discusses some of the responsible factors and possible long-term consequences.
When patients diagnosed with chronic Lyme are treated, no matter what happens as a response to the treatment is considered by believers to be evidence in support of the diagnosis. If they get better, then that is evidence that the treatment is working. If they get worse, then that is evidence that the treatment is working and they are experiencing the JHR...
A study of On Guard™, a mixture of essential oils, showed that it reduced the infectivity of influenza virus in dog kidney cells in the lab; but that's irrelevant to the question of whether the product has any clinical effect in humans.