Most doctors are mediocre

Atul Gawande claims most doctors are mediocre at best

PORTLAND—“The source of our struggle is the complexity,” not medical lawsuits or money problems, said author and surgeon, Dr. Atul Gawande during a lecture on Wednesday evening.

The 1 million doctors and 2.5 million nurses in America are faced daily with making complicated decisions about why bodies fail, what medicines to prescribe, and which surgical or medical procedure to perform, in addition to learning how to communicate with their patients, he said before an audience of nearly 2,400 at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. Gawande, a physician who specializes in cancer at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, said there are now 13,600 diagnoses that a clinician has to choose from, along with 4,000 surgical or medical actions that can be performed. It’s a dizzying array of knowledge that health care workers are expected to absorb, and is unlike any other American industry. (Oregon Health News, Sept. 2009)

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