Physician Competency

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Most physicians are incompetent. There; I said it. If you read howardisms on a regular basis, you might have already suspected this. Lots of evidence indicates that substandard or inappropriate care occurs in most patient-physician encounters (up to 80% of encounters). The wrong diagnoses are made far too often. Suboptimal or incorrect therapies are too […]

The Medical Hype Cycle (The Herrell Curve?)

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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 […]

The AMH Syndrome

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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 […]

Afraid of anesthesia? Read this … (or the story of Victoria)

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Simpson and assistants discovering anesthetic effect of chloroform Next to Pitocin, obstetric anesthesia is probably the second-most hated intervention among the natural birth community. Like Pitocin, obstetric anesthesia is blamed for excess Cesarean deliveries and various other obstetric complications, and it is also claimed by many that women who undergo pain relief during delivery simply […]

Afraid of Pitocin? Read this… (or the story of Charlotte)

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Princess Charlotte of Wales In the natural birth community, Pitocin is a dirty word. It is blamed, wrongfully, for nearly every ill that affects modern obstetrics: the high cesarean delivery rate, the pain associated with labor that leads women to want epidurals, postpartum hemorrhage, postpartum depression, fetal distress, autism, and just about anything else you […]

It’s All in the Counseling …

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Physicians have a lot of power over patient choices. In theory, physicians present patients with choices and then patients make informed decisions. In practice, this almost never happens. A physician can manipulate a patient into doing almost anything by counseling patients in a biased and skewed way; a doctor may even tell the truth, but […]