Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Do doctors follow the precepts learned during their training when caring for patients? Do they always follow standards of care? Are their actions based on the best available evidence? Do they always do what is in the best interest of their patients?

As a physician with over 16 years of experience I must be candid: the answer is no to all of these questions. Human fallibility, cognitive errors and conflicts of interest weigh heavily on our judgment and medical decisions.

In pediatrics the result is a huge divergence from best practice standards; so much so that wrongheaded approaches displace proper practices, to the point that those doctors who cling to time-tested precepts are sometimes treated as pariahs.

This is the subject of my new book, Suffer the Children: Flaws, Foibles, Fallacies and the Grave Shortcomings of Pediatric Care. It will also be the general theme of this blog. My goal is to begin an open discussion of the failings of pediatric care and to come up with viable solutions. I look forward to your feedback and criticism.

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