Views & Reviews From the Frontline

Bad medicine: cardiology

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d670 (Published 01 February 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d670
  1. Des Spence, general practitioner, Glasgow
  1. destwo{at}yahoo.co.uk

We are scientists. But the Big Book of Medical Facts is in fact just a pamphlet printed at home, with two paragraphs in a very large font. The only certainty of science is uncertainty. Medicine is often little more than an opinion, a faith system: we believe that what we do is right. This is despite history telling us that what we do now is almost certainly wrong. Our faith has invented words, rituals, elaborate costumes, and a culture of reverence and deference. And, with clinical signs so subtle that you might question their existence, …

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