Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorJonathan D.EldredgeMLS, PhD, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media
by Harry M. Marks (Cambridge History of Medicine), 258 pp, $59.95, ISBN 0-521-58142-7, New York, NY, Cambridge University Press, 1997.
Often the release of a major medical study is greeted with an announcement that "critics, however, argue that the study is flawed." Who is doing all these "flawed" studies, the public must wonder: why aren't they shamefacedly vacating their laboratories, turning in their white coats, leaving only the good science to shine through? Savvy readers will know, however, that even good studies involve tradeoffs, leave some things ambiguous, and may be used to justify a range of medical practices. However defensible in design and execution, they may not provide the definitive sanction for actions some will want to take on their behalf, and may therefore be labeled "flawed" or "unconvincing."
ExperimentThe Progress of Experiment: Science and Therapeutic Reform in the United States, 1900-1990. JAMA. 1998;280(23):2044-2045. doi:10.1001/jama.280.23.2044-JBK1216-3-1