The Boston Medical Library presents:
41st Annual Garland Lecture
H. Gilbert Welch, M.D., M.Ph.: Professor of Medicine, Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Research
Dr. H. Gilbert Welch brings a needed perspective to medical care. It’s not to deny that some people get too little medical care, rather that the conventional concern about “too little” needs to be balanced with a concern about “too much”: too many people being made to worry about diseases they don’t have—and are at only average risk to get; too many people being tested and exposed to the harmful effects of the testing process; too many people being subjected to treatments they don’t need—or can’t benefit from.
The American public has been sold the idea that seeking medical care is one of the most important steps to maintain wellness. Surprisingly, medical care is not, in fact, well correlated with good health. So more medicine does not equal more health; in reality the opposite may be true.
The general public harbors assumptions about medical care that encourage overuse, assumptions such as it’s always better to fix the problem, sooner (or newer) is always better, or it never hurts to get more information.
For the past two decades, Dr. Welch’s research has focused on the problems created by medicine’s efforts to detect disease early: physicians test too often, treat too aggressively and tell too many people that they are sick. Much of his work has focused on overdiagnosis in cancer screening: in particular, screening for melanoma, thyroid, lung, breast and prostate cancer. He is the author of the books, Should I be Tested for Cancer? Maybe Not and Here’s Why (UC Press 2004) and more recently, Overdiagnosed: Making People Sick in the Pursuit of Health (Beacon Press 2011) and Less Medicine, More Health: 7 Assumptions That Drive Too Much Medical Care (Beacon Press 2015).
November 3, 2016
Amphitheater, Armenise Building
Harvard Medical School
210 Longwood Avenue, Boston MA 02115
To register, please contact the Boston Medical Library at BostonMedLibr@gmail.com or 617-432-4807.
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