Quick heads-up: Dr. Ishani Ganguli was nice enough to post a piece of mine on her blog, Short White Coat, hosted by the Boston Globe. Check it out and — most importantly — share your thoughts!
Key quote here:
What I take away from placebo research is that how we do our job is just as important as what we do. The notion that drugs and surgery are the only treatment we can offer has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Medical training and research are decidedly focused on what drugs to give when – knowledge necessary, but not sufficient, to serve our patients. This may distract us from the psychological and social mechanisms beneath the human response to treatment. Rather than inventing a new procedure that might not be more effective than sham, we should be inventing ways to get the benefits of a sham without cutting the skin.
Karan is a student at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Duke graduate who previously worked in strategic research for hospital executives.