Posted BY: Brian C. Joondeph, M.D.
Medicine, like most sciences, entails thinking and hypothesis creation to explain the myriad complexities of the healthy and diseased human body.
Hypotheses are tested and refined, with new information or insights nudging or abruptly shifting current knowledge in a new direction.
For example, bloodletting with leeches is no longer standard medical practice for most ailments as it was up until the late 19th century. More recently, Vioxx was considered a safer painkiller, until it was found to cause heart attacks and strokes, similar to another “safe and effective” product introduced about two years ago. Oxycontin was marketed as a nonaddictive pain killer until it devasted hundreds of thousands of lives and families and was shown to be otherwise.
Trending: No Easy Road for Men of God
Physicians, upon medical school graduation, recite the Hippocratic Oath. Quoting from the revised version (simply because the language is easier to understand), physicians swear, “I will not be ashamed to say, ‘I know not’” and “Above all, I must not play at God.”