The lesson here is that there are huge gaps in the scientific evidence guiding physician decision-making, and it wasn't until healthcare-quality gadflies like David Eddy began to demand to see the evidence that we learned about those gaps. This revelation has had at least two beneficial effects: it informs us about the lack of evidence so that we can be more realistic in our expectations and more aware of the uncertainty in medical decision-making, and it exhorts the medical community to search for better evidence.
"Nothing should be affirmatively promoted unless there is good evidence of at least some benefit," writes Eddy. It is simply amazing that applying such a statement to modern medicine represents such a ground-breaking development. But it has literally changed the face of medicine.
Excerpted from Demand Better! Revive Our Broken Healthcare System by Sanjaya Kumar and David B. Nash. Copyright © 2011 by Sanjaya Kumar and David B. Nash. Excerpted with permission by Second River Healthcare Press.