MBBS Curriculum 2020

Too much medicine: Not enough trust?

6 February 2018 - 17:00-18:30

LectureZoë Fritz and Richard Holton, University of Cambridge.

G.12 New Hunt’s House, Guy’s Campus

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We suggest that ‘too much medicine’, in the shape of both investigations and
treatments, is sometimes offered as a substitute for a trusting relationship. We investigate the
nature of such a relationship, arguing that at its core it involves a transfer of discretion. We
show that there is substantial empirical support for the idea that more trust will reduce the
problem of too much medicine. We then investigate ways in which trust can be built quickly,
concentrating on issues of questioning, and of entrusting uncertainty and treatment. We
conclude by suggesting that using over-treatment as a way of generating trust may itself be an
untrustworthy way of proceeding.

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