Intended for healthcare professionals

Views & Reviews From the Frontline

Believe in better

BMJ 2012; 345 doi: (Published 30 August 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;345:e5826
  1. Des Spence, general practitioner, Glasgow
  1. destwo{at}

People believe in lots of things: that guitar music has had its day, money, religion, beards, Marxism, capitalism, “the force,” marriage, reincarnation, evolution, and education. What we elect to believe in is peculiar to us. Beliefs are emotional and certain, branded into our souls. Beliefs are about faith, not reason or evidence.

Even in medicine, it is health beliefs, not science, that drive much of what goes on. Yet the understanding of medicine as a belief system floats …

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