Dr. Golem: How to Think about Medicine by Harry Collins, Trevor Pinch

By Harry Collins, Trevor Pinch

Dr. Golem explores a few of the mysteries and complexities of drugs whereas untangling the inherent conundrums of clinical learn and highlighting its vagaries. In 8 chapters dedicated to case reviews of contemporary medication, Collins and Pinch ponder the superiority of tonsillectomies, the placebo impression and randomized keep watch over trials, bogus medical professionals, CPR, the efficacy of diet C in scuffling with melanoma, persistent fatigue syndrome, AIDS treatments, and vaccination. all through, Collins and Pinch remind readers that clinical technological know-how is an fiscal in addition to a social attention, encapsulated for the authors within the undying fight to stability the great health and wellbeing of the numerous with the nice future health of some. Dr. Golem is a well timed research of the constraints of medication that by no means loses sight of its strengths.

“Collins and Pinch conscientiously tease out key conflicts within the method that clinical wisdom is built and used and undertaking to teach how inevitably complex clinical decision-making has to be. . . . They examine 3 very important concerns that lie on the center of medicine’s uncertainty: person as opposed to collective pursuits; medication as a technological know-how as opposed to a therapeutic paintings; and the character of clinical services. . . . The authors neither leap at the serious bandwagon nor ask for forgiveness for medicine’s failings, fairly they convey that the inherent discrepancy among the speed of clinical discovery and the necessity for fast succour is person who needs to be addressed together by way of medical professional and patient.”—Noah Raizman, The Lancet

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In the case of “primitive” societies we can see that an outsider claiming that the rituals have no direct physiological e¤ect would do little harm to their potency, since the medium of the cure is taken to be magical rather than chemical or physical. In large parts of Western society, however, the basis of sound intervention is taken to be chemical or physical. The placebo e¤ect is fragile in our society just to the extent that our society is informed by a scientific worldview. Here, then, is the tension between medicine as science and medicine as succor in a clear form.

So I appeared on the ward on my first day back really from holiday, first time to meet him anyway, and he introduced himself. According to the consultant, by the time the first ward round was concluded, It was obvious to me that this fellow really didn’t match up to what he was supposed to have done. He’d been completely protected from the slings and arrows of the consultants on the big ward rounds but on a one-to-one basis he was naked, and there was nothing he could do about it. I think that if you do a ward round with lots of people you will not pick up this sort of thing.

Three were caught because they could not manage ordinary life in a hospital suªciently well to allow the rest of the sta¤ to make excuses for them. The first of these asked a patient to pay privately for the removal of what the nursing sta¤ could see was a harmless cyst. In the second the bogus doctor changed treatment instructions that had already been written up by other doctors. The third bogus doctor conducted an operation on a woman without her consent. In another five cases the fakery was revealed as a by-product of investigations that had nothing to do with medical practice.

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