Showing posts from January, 2016

Preventative medicine? What really works?

There is much debate about whether population screening for medical conditions is really useful in the long run.  When you look at the figures for screening performed on healthy people it is amazing what a small chance you have of both picking up some sort of health problem and of prolonging and saving a life as the result of a screening test.  Huge numbers of people have to go through procedures, all with some sort of risk, to produce an incredibly small change in the overall chance of saving or prolonging life.

That being said there are a few things that I believe are worthwhile in terms of preventative medicine.  Here are three simple ones that come to mind:

1.  To me, preventing pregnancy when you don't wish to have a baby is the by far the most significant intervention that you can make in the life of your patient.  I am amazed at the privilege that we, as a nation, have in being able to choose when we wish to have a baby.  And these days there are great improvements in the t…