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Slow Medicine

“Slow Medicine” refers to a thoughtful, evidence-based approach to care and emphasizes careful clinical reasoning. It draws on many of the principles of the broader "Slow Movement,” which have been applied to a wide range of fields including food, art, parenting and technology. In this column, authors Dr. Michael Hochman and Dr. Pieter Cohen discuss a wide variety of topical medical and health care issues in an informal manner. 

Picture of Michael  Hochman

Whether it's doctors or restaurants, it turns out that our brains are more likely to be influenced by narrative reviews, such as those on Yelp, than by other rating systems and metrics.

Picture of Pieter Cohen

As physicians, we can find evidence in the research literature to support or discourage almost anything. If we don't have a coherent approach to care, it's quite difficult to decide when we have sufficient evidence to change our practice.

Picture of Pieter Cohen

In a watershed development on Tuesday, the American Cancer Society announced it was backtracking on its aggressive breast cancer screening recommendations. The new guidelines are much more aligned with the practice of Slow Medicine, and they should change how we talk to patients about screening.

Picture of Pieter Cohen

Last week, the New England Journal of Medicine published a landmark study by CDC researchers on the safety of dietary supplements. The new study stands as a strong challenge to our current regulatory framework, as our Slow Medicine contributors explain.

Picture of Michael  Hochman

Obamacare has strongly encouraged the creation of accountable care organizations, which focus on coordinating patient care so that, in theory, wasteful practices are eliminated and money is saved. But the early results have been mixed.

Picture of Michael  Hochman

There has been a lot of rhetoric about the value of community health workers, but such programs don't always work as well as they could. Some basic guidelines could go a long way toward ensuring such workers contribute to the health of patients, particularly those with chronic diseases.

Picture of Rachael Bedard

When treatment options aren't clear-cut, can decision-making tools such as brochures and videos help patients make better choices? A new study provides the first systematic review of decision aids designed to help patients with serious illness. The evidence on their effectiveness is mixed.

Picture of Pieter Cohen

As a new series in Consumer Reports makes clear, antibiotic-resistant infections are becoming more prevalent. The report should be a wake-up call for prescribers and patients to be more thoughtful about how they use antibiotics.

Picture of Michael  Hochman

New projections estimate that Obamacare will add more than a quarter-billion dollars in administrative costs by 2022. About two thirds of this added expense will go to private insurance companies via the insurance exchanges. In contrast, public insurance gives far more bang for the buck.

Picture of Michael  Hochman

Atul Gawande's latest New Yorker piece on unnecessary care has generated much conversation in health care circles. Two leading practitioners of 'Slow Medicine' outline some key takeaways from Gawande's latest must-read take on American medicine.

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