Purg, just as legislators feel compelled to pass laws, researchers are compelled to arrive at new findings. In academia, we have the "publish or perish" situation, where modern scholars keep poring over writers like Hawthorne, Poe, Melville, and others, trying to find new angles about
which they can write articles and dissertations.
I'm beginning to get the sense that medical researchers are drilling down so deep into what's going on that they're sometimes getting mired down in minutiae and missing the big picture. And so, it's suddenly "news" that 2 out of 1,000 men dies within "x" number of days after a prostate biopsy, and then the alarm goes out that we're over-biopsying, and then the media dumbs down the story and people stop seeing their urologists and stop having biopsies.
Maybe it's just related to the fact that I'm getting older, but I've met too many young managers who always seem to feel that the old way of doing things is never the best way. I always have argued that the "old" way of doing things is almost certainly the result of decades of refinement and evolution, and that just because some hotshot has a new idea, that doesn't mean that it's necessarily a better idea, or a better way of doing things.
Just as a large ship navigates by making small course corrections, so too should we make tweaks and adjustments in medicine....not veer right and left with each new "study" that comes along. Some of these new findings will be proven correct, and some will not, but I hope the medical community moves carefully on these things and keeps its focus on the success stories, as well as on their failures. Too often, we react in alarm to the failures and forget all the good that's being done.