Observations Reality Check

Preventing overdiagnosis: the myth, the music, and the medical meeting

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h1370 (Published 18 March 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h1370
  1. Ray Moynihan, senior research fellow, Bond University, Byron Bay, Australia
  1. raymoynihan{at}bond.edu.au

Registrations and abstracts are now open for the third Preventing Overdiagnosis conference

Uncertainty, conflict, and controversy: the life blood of science now flows freely through the growing global debate about the problem of overdiagnosis and how to prevent it. This month a Harvard radiologist was reported attacking overdiagnosis as a “myth,” The BMJ launched a digital theme issue on the topic, and a Canadian professor put the finishing touches to a short music video on overdiagnosis, which is likely to go viral. After successful sell-out gatherings in Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, in 2013 and Oxford in 2014, seats are starting fill for the next international Preventing Overdiagnosis scientific meeting (www.preventingoverdiagnosis.net). Supported by The BMJ, the conference takes place this year in September inside the heart of the US medical establishment, at the publicly funded National Institutes of Health, just outside Washington, DC.

The Harvard professor Daniel Kopans was quoted in the online Cancer Network publication arguing, “Overdiagnosis is a myth that has been created by a handful of individuals who provide no care for women with breast cancer.”1 A strong voice …

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