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Show 984: Less Medicine, More Health

The assumptions we make about medicine drive up health care costs but underminine health.
Show 984: Less Medicine, More Health
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Less Medicine, More Health

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Americans tend to equate more tests and more aggressive treatment with better quality care. This approach does result in more expensive care. The US spends more on health care per capita than any other country in the world. But we lag behind other industrialized nations on important measures of public health.

Challenging Assumptions

Many of our assumptions about modern medicine are driving up costs and covering up potential downsides to medical interventions. Dr. Gil Welch, a leading analyst of health care policy, challenges these assumptions. In our conversation, he explains why we shouldn’t buy in to the ideas that it’s better to fix a problem, sooner rather than later, and that there is a pill for every ill.

This Week’s Guest:

H. Gilbert Welch, MD, MPH, is professor of medicine and community and family medicine at the Dartmouth Institute and the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. He is also adjunct professor of business administration at the Tuck School of Business and adjunct professor of public policy at Dartmouth College.

His books include: Should I Be Tested for Cancer? Maybe Not and Here’s Why; Overdiagnosed: Making People Sick in the Pursuit of Health (with Lisa Schwartz, MD, and Steven Woloshin, MD); and his most recent: Less Medicine More Health: 7 Assumptions That Drive Too Much Medical Care. You can watch a seven-minute video about the seven assumptions he addresses here.

Listen to the Podcast:

The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free for four weeks after the date of broadcast. After that time has passed, digital downloads are available for $2.99. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99.

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About the Author
Joe Graedon is a pharmacologist who has dedicated his career to making drug information understandable to consumers. His best-selling book, The People’s Pharmacy, was published in 1976 and led to a syndicated newspaper column, syndicated public radio show and web site. In 2006, Long Island University awarded him an honorary doctorate as “one of the country's leading drug experts for the consumer.” .
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