On: September 22, 2021


From our General Manager, Emily Glenn

Hippocrasy: How Doctors are Betraying their Oath is hot off the press! Within the pages of this insightful book, rheumatologist and epidemiologist Rachelle Buchbinder and orthopaedic surgeon Ian Harris argue that the benefits of medical treatments are often wildly overstated and the harms understated, and that overtreatment and overdiagnosis are rife in healthcare settings around the world.

Why read it?

I recommend reading this book for the timely reminder that robust medical evidence should underpin any service or intervention. It also serves to remind us that delivering the right care at the right time is key in all healthcare settings – whilst a test or procedure might be useful in some cases, it doesn’t mean it is required in others.

This book also empowers patients to start meaningful conversations about the course of treatment being recommended by their doctor or healthcare provider to ensure they have a good understanding of the likely risks, benefits and outcomes, and can make an informed decision about their care.

Other Helpful Resources?

The Choosing Wisely Australia website (https://www.choosingwisely.org.au/), provides lots of useful tools and resources to help patients navigate healthcare treatment choices. My personal favourite is this handy guide for patients (https://www.choosingwisely.org.au/resources/consumers-and-carers/5questions) which gives 5 simple questions for patients to ask their doctor or healthcare provider to make sure they end up with the right amount of care!

Final Thoughts?

I loved reading this book, and hope individuals are encouraged to discuss their care, or seek a second opinion if they’re not sure about their care. I also hope my fellow health professionals are inspired to consider how they can facilitate and contribute towards implementing practice initiatives in their own health settings to minimise unnecessary medical interventions.