Hippocrates Shadow

18 Jul

I’ve just finished reading this (in a rather frenzied 8 hour marathon) fascinating book by David Newman. (of SMARTEM and the NNT fame)

It covers all the problems with medicine that i’ve been torturing my poor friends over for donkeys now.

There’s lots of great stuff in it but I think my personal favourite is chapter 4 on communication with patients.

Lack of communication begets lack of communication. a downward spiral closely ties to medicine’s movement away from contact toward technology, a movement embraced by patients and doctors alike. Both groups crave the safety and the seemingly unimpeachable science represented by blood tests, x-rays, and pills

Get it and read it.

UPDATE 2016: Newman has recently confessed and been convicted of multiple acts of sexual abuse against patients and currently awaits sentencing. He initially denied any wrongdoing and I admit I felt inclined to be sympathetic initially. As someone who had greatly appreciated his speaking and writing prior to this I feel naturally disappointed and somewhat betrayed but it’s a good reminder to be cautious in our adulation of those we perceive as leaders and that the public image one presents may be entirely misleading. As several folk have pointed out in online discussion, I think that noting and condemning his crimes here is more important than simple erasing all mentions of his work and position.

2 Replies to “Hippocrates Shadow

  1. “torturing my poor friends over for donkeys now”

    How long a period of time is a donkey exactly? 😉

    Just finished my last book, will have to see if this is only the kindle for for download.

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