Believe one who has proven it. Believe an expert.
An expert is one who knows less and less about more and more.
Nicholas Butler (1862-1947), Commencement Address, Columbia University
Health plan experts in giant firms, such as Aetna, Wellpoint, Cigna, and the United Healthcare, are fond of deploying data to instruct doctors and patients as to what constitutes the “best practices” and what they will or will not pay for.
Presumably, these experts, relying on vast databases which they have parsed, analyzed, and summarized, will present us with objective impartial data to direct care to produce the best results.
I say “presumably” because many patients or doctors do not necessarily buy the experts’ advice or follow instructions.
The Problem in a Nutshell
This is not just my opinion. A husband and wife team of doctors from the Harvard Medical School faculty, Pamela Hartzband MD and Jerome Groopman MD, have picked up on this theme. On March 31, they wrote a learned article in the Wall Street Journal “The Rise of Medical Expertocracy” on the subject containing these observations.
“As As the health-care debate heats up again in Washington, both Democrats and Republicans will try to convince us that they have the experts to answer all our health questions.”