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A Piece of My Mind
July 14, 2015

Story as Evidence, Evidence as Story

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Geriatrics, Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco
JAMA. 2015;314(2):125-126. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.3930

One morning last year, driving between my clinic and our medical school, I tuned in to the middle of a locally produced, nationally respected radio news program expecting a conversation about the latest international crisis. Instead, the guest was a clinician-scientist discussing several recent articles challenging our current beliefs about and uses of mammography, including underreporting of harms, high rates of false-positives, screening-age controversies, and how women would make different choices if they knew the true risks. As I listened, I thought, Wow, this physician must have had media training. In point after point, she reduced complex data into easy-to-understand considerations without dumbing down the information. The host and callers clearly respected her. She came across as smart, warm, and articulate. I was impressed.