You have arrived at the web home of Noah Brier. This is mostly an archive of over a decade of blogging and other writing. You can read more about me or get in touch. If you want more recent writing of mine, most of that is at my BrXnd marketing x AI newsletter and Why Is This Interesting?, a daily email for the intellectually omnivorous.

August, 2009

The Complexity of Healthcare

I'm currently reading Complications by Atul Gawande (the guy who wrote the New Yorker article about the cost of healthcare). Anyway, I just started but I had to share this quote about doctor's and healthcare and the complexity of it all:
We look for medicine to be an orderly field of knowledge and procedure. But it is not. It is an imperfect science, an enterprise of constantly changing knowledge, uncertain information, fallible individuals, and at the same time lives on the line. There is science in what we do, yes, but also habit, intuition, and sometimes plain old guessing. The gap between what we know and what we aim for persists. And this gap complicates everything we do.
One consistent theme in the stuff I've read so far on healthcare (and more specifically doctors) is the need to accept not always knowing the correct answer while still taking the possible consequences very seriously. I guess in a profession where consequences are literally life and death you have no other option. (Though, as I understand it, many doctors do believe their own hype and forget sometimes that they make things up.)
August 4, 2009
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