Dangers Of Guesswork in Medicine and How to Reduce It

If you’re not careful, your medical knowledge can be swayed by social biases that don’t have anything to do with science. Sometimes, even experienced doctors are prone to guesswork in medicine that can potentially cost anyone’s life. However, most of the diagnoses are made on calculated guesswork, and that’s usually not harmful.

a hospital ward

Why Is Guesswork Harmful?

You see, guesswork or, rather, decisions based on assumptions without empirical evidence can be deadly. For example, if you’re in a hurry to save an endangered life in the operating room, the results can be irreversible. Or, if you’re deciding whether to start chemotherapy on a cancer patient based on factors unrelated to the actual progress of their disease, you might be making the wrong decision. The consequences are severe.

Unfortunately, for far too long, medicine has been plagued by bad decision-making processes that don’t have anything to do with real patient data, and guesswork is partly to blame.

Medical guesswork is a major problem in the healthcare industry these days. If you’re interested in learning how to avoid being misdiagnosed due to the dangers of guesswork in medicine, there are a few things you can do:

a researcher working in a lab

Consult a Physician Who Values Evidence-Based Medicine

There’s a good chance you’ve been misdiagnosed at least once in your lifetime—and that’s unfortunate. Did it have anything to do with the dangers of guesswork in medicine? It just might have if the physician you were consulting based their decisions on opinions rather than scientific evidence.

So how can you tell if your doctor isn’t using scientific evidence?

Before going to a clinic, review their website and look for credentials. Ask for patient reviews and the history of successful diagnoses and treatments. This will allow you to have a clear picture of the doctor you’re consulting.

If your doctor doesn’t show any interest in evidence-based medicine, then you might want to reconsider.

Don’t Take Medications with No Evidence Backing Them

When you think about it, modern medications are becoming more and more experimental. Statins—a popular type of cholesterol medication—have long been the subject of debate concerning their efficacy.

Apart from doctors, many patients think it’s alright to ask their friends to do a quick internet search for a particular illness or body ache. They then take medicine without any prescription, which is not only absurd but can be harmful to the body.

Use Accurate Medical Devices

It’s crucial to use accurate medical devices when diagnosing and treating patients. Inaccurate measurements can lead to guesswork and harmful decisions that can potentially affect health chronically.

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