I'm passionate about Neuroscience and Narrative Medicine
HOW I LEARNED THAT THE HU- MANITIES CAN BENEFIT MY PUR- SUIT OF A CAREER IN MEDICINE
by Kartik Nath
What is evidence-based medicine? How did it develop? Epidemiologist David Sackett created the field of evidence-based medicine (EBM) to standardize clinical research methodology (Marini 2). Dr. Sackett modeled EBM based on the behaviors of a scientist, analyzing health conditions and disorders by focusing on their diagnosis, prognosis, clinical prediction, pre- vention, and treatment in order to balance cost and quality of health services (Marini 2). The field of medicine shifted toward a scientific ap - proach, where practitioners focused on keeping up with scientific advancements of medicine when evaluating clinical practices. EBM is de - fined as “the conscientious, explicit, and judi - cious use of current based evidence in making decisions about the care of individual patients” (Sackett 71). Since EBM relies heavily on the evaluation of clinical literature, the treatment of patients has transformed to an objective ap- proach.
I came to college with a plan to study the natural sciences because of a preconceived notion that science is the driver of medicine. “I want to help people” was my justification for my pursuit of medicine, and I assumed that learning biology, chemistry, and other science related subjects- -what’s called evidence-based medicine--would shape my ideas and help prepare me for the medical world. However, I have since learned that learning science plus other social and com- munication skills will prepare me to be a better healer. But in my first year in college, I learned that the practice of medicine is actually shifting away from an evidence-based approach. People are seeking more humanistic treatments from phy- sicians who consider more than scientific facts. One form of the humanistic approach is narra- tive-based medicine (NBM), a method focused on the patient narrative to provide subjective care. NBM is an overlooked practice of medicine that sits at the intersection of medicine and the humanities, and has the potential to play an im- portant part in improving the healthcare system.
“What’s the problem with a science-based objective approach?!”
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