The Medical Hype Cycle (The Herrell Curve?)

When a breakthrough innovation, new test, or new treatment is discovered in medicine, its adoption often follows a typical pattern. This pattern is demonstrated graphically on the illustration below. I have adapted this concept from the Hype Cycle used to describe new technologies in business but with some important modifications. A new discovery is made…

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Williams Obstetrics and Male Chauvinism

As a collector of old Ob/Gyn textbooks, I am absolutely amazed at some of the male chauvinistic gems they contain. Here’s a good one from 1934 (Thorek’s Surgical Errors and Safeguards): He was discussing vaginal repairs, of course. The same author was wise enough to point out a couple of paragraphs later that “Many useless surgeries…

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Child Mortality

Ever heard of the Child Mortality Rate? It’s the number of children, per 1000, who die before the age of 5.  This includes Neonatal Mortality and Infant Mortality, but it doesn’t include Fetal Mortality and therefore doesn’t include Perinatal Mortality. Confused? Here’s a refresher (each rate is reported per 1,000): Fetal Mortality: Fetal deaths which…

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The AMH Syndrome

If you’ve never heard of the Antimullerian Hormone (AMH) Syndrome before, don’t worry: I just made it up. I’ll tell you what it is in a minute. But first, let’s talk about AMH. AMH has been used by fertility clinics over the last few years as a test to determine ovarian reserve and predict fertility…

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