Are You and Your Doctor on the Cutting Edge?

24 Jul

New studies come out every day in pediatrics…I get an email update every day at lunch which has 4-5 studies listed that could have relevance to my practice.  Of course, I don’t read all those studies but I try to skim most of them and read the ones that I find important.

In all this reading, I see a consistent problem showing up again and again, conflicting studies and recommendations.  Unfortunately, these studies are often quickly picked up by the media and filtered down to parents. The problem with this is that if you are not consistently reading, you don’t realize that there is controversy or conflicting opinion about the topic at hand.  You can take the study in front of you and make a change in your parenting style that will be disproven next month with a newer, better study.  If you read something that you’re interested in, step back and ask yourself if it makes sense, then ask your doctor what she/he thinks.

In a related problem, you don’t necessarily want your doctor stepping out on every study they read either.  I think the ideal sweet spot is to have a doctor that reads a lot, takes everything they can in but filters it in the context of their experience and with a healthy amount of skepticism.  This will keep them up to date with new information as it comes out but keep them away from trendy/fad recommendations that will not not stand the test of time.


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