People hold medical professionals in the highest esteem. Their ongoing learning is not often emulated in other professions, but does that mean they always have the right answers? A new study published by the Mayo Clinic suggests that some current medical treatments may not necessarily get the job done.
Medical professionals submit to years of grueling study to obtain their credentials. In many ways, it's a process that never ends thanks to continuous scientific developments. The trouble is that numerous studies are published every month. Some contain evidence of startling progress in the treatment of a particular condition. Others unveil the efficacy of new drugs. Still other studies may debunk earlier studies, finding fault with the conclusions reached by other researchers.
The result is a confusing morass of information, some parts of it more relevant and reliable than other parts. One component of the job of the health care professional is wading through all that data to determine whether or not the study has merit and whether or not the latest treatments or drugs should be incorporated into their everyday practice.
Usually, the answers don't come easily. Science is rarely a linear process, and it often advances in fits and starts, sometimes retreating three steps for every one step forward. Typically, medical professionals make treatment decisions that are backed by enormous fields of study and numerous research projects. They are able to describe treatment options and outcomes with a degree of confidence thanks to the considerable body of evidence provided by research.
In the study recently published by the Mayo Clinic, researchers discovered from looking at a decade of scientific articles that medical treatment decisions were wrong just about as often as they were right. The more the medical professional relies on a vast body of knowledge to make a decision, the more correct their course of treatment typically proved to be. Click HERE to see some of the suprising results of this study.
Accordingly, the best decisions the health care professional can make are those that are founded on solid research. Nonetheless, it makes sense to be critical of continuing practices simply because of tradition. Sometimes new developments really are for the better.
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Dr. Kate Gerber & Dr. John Gerber