The technology used in modern medicine may be advanced but I will not hesitate to say that the practice of medicine at this day and age is, well, very primitive.
How can I make such a lowly assessment of my own profession?
If had had to use one word to describe why medical practice is primitive, it would be the word “uncertainty.” As a non-medical person reading this blog, it may surprise you to know how much uncertainty is involved in every step of medical decisions your doctors make for you.
From the moment you get sick to the moment you get a diagnosis, your doctor puts you through a series of steps. Each step involves uncertainty that comes from subjective judgement, generalization, past experience, risk tolerance and even personal style and preference of the doctor. The level of uncertainty is so great that the chances of getting the exact same diagnosis and exact same treatment for the exact same problem from two different doctors is almost zero.
This level of uncertainty is unacceptable in any other modern technological application. If NASA worked with this degree of uncertainty, we would still be debating if the Earth goes around the Sun or the Sun goes around the Earth.
So, how advanced modern medicine really is?
I would say it is as advanced as Astronomy was in pre-Gallelian era. Besides the degree of uncertainty, there is another factor that makes modern medical practice similar to pre-Gallelean Astronomy. Modern medicine revolves around the doctor. The fate of the patient depends on the unique style of the doctor. We will not be able to make any progress in medicine until we give up this model and believe in the model in which medicine revolves around the patient.
I believe we can only make true progress in medicine if we come to terms with this radical new concept and design medical practice that revolves around the patient instead of the doctor. In a society with this new advanced medical practice, patients would have the knowledge and power to know what exactly they need and doctors would simply listen to the patients and provide what they need.
Please check back to read why I believe what I believe and how we can move in the right direction.