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The Laws of Medicine: Field Notes from an Uncertain Science (TED Books)

af Siddhartha Mukherjee

Serier: TED Books

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1554141,222 (3.98)Ingen
One of the world's premiere cancer researchers reveals an urgent philosophy on the little-known principles that govern medicine--and how understanding these principles can empower everyone.

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A very useful insight into medicine for a medical student, the way the author describes the medical cases is quite fascinating, had a lot of fun reading this little brochure ( )
  puripuri | Sep 9, 2021 |
Have you ever wondered what makes people orient to their worlds differently? Such is the realm of philosophy. This book attempts to turn medical thought – what makes doctors act the way they do – into a philosophy. Admittedly, it’s just a beginning, but this quick read explains a lot about how healthcare works today.

In this short series of essays, Mukherjee defines three “laws.” (1) “A strong intuition is much more powerful than a weak test.” (2) “‘Normals’ teach us rules; ‘outliers’ teach us laws.” And (3) “for every perfect medical experiment, there is a perfect human bias.”

Mukherjee describes each of these with plenty of examples from medical history or from contemporary medical practice. MDs will really enjoy interacting with the thought of this noteworthy cancer physician and researcher. Others involved in the noble professions that better human health will benefit from learning the philosophical framework this book proposes. Finally, the reading public will benefit from seeing how these philosophical principles, which are fundamental to medical science, interact with contemporary society.

The only thing I am left craving is a more in-depth analysis. In this work, one can easily see the cusp of medical practice as it moves forward. Nonetheless, this view of the cusp is not rooted in a deep historical analysis. As a short introduction to a topic (TED Books market themselves as “Small books, big ideas”), this book works, but as a transformative work that changes the future behavior of the human race, it lacks. Not every book needs to change the world, but part of a book’s mission is to open new lenses through which one can see. Perhaps I am out of step with today’s instantaneous age, but I prefer deep books with big ideas more.

( )
  scottjpearson | Jan 25, 2020 |
Interesting to read this while also reading Thinking, Fast and Slow. He talks about doctors using intuition and that being better than some screening tests with less than perfect sensitivity and specificity. Intuition is the fast thinking built on subconsciously stored information and connections from previous experiences. It's both scary and interesting to think about how much of medicine is an art and still far from a hard and fast science. ( )
  nheredia05 | Jun 12, 2018 |
Law One: A strong intuition is much more powerful than a weak test.
Law Two: "Normals" teach us rules; "outliers" teach us laws.
Law Three: For every perfect medical experiment, there is a perfect human bias.

Well, interesting, sort of. I would have probably really liked this in the early days of medical school. Each 'law' is illustrated with a few examples that give the reader a peek into his medical world. You know, the sort of godly laying-of-the-hands-and-the-noble-art-of-medicine world. Not the mucky real world of indifference, greed,and incompetence all jostling and wrestling hard with the grunting idealists pulling out all the stops and trying their darndest to save this life, because dammit we all deserve that, don't we?
Still, it is a lovely little book, physically. It would be a perfect gift for a new med student or newly minted doctor. ( )
  TheBookJunky | Apr 22, 2016 |
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One of the world's premiere cancer researchers reveals an urgent philosophy on the little-known principles that govern medicine--and how understanding these principles can empower everyone.

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