I am writing with a simple plea to balance the voluminous articles about treatment in your journal with a modicum of information about nature and caring effects. Let me explain. Although I was once a busy surgeon, my most satisfied and grateful patients were often the ones I helped avoid unnecessary drugs or procedures. Similarly, I found myself deriving great pleasure from wise and restrictive intervention, in contrast to the polypharmacy and gizmo idolatry that has seduced many of my colleagues. The power of explanation and “information therapy,” as I like to call it, have become the most potent weapons in my healing arsenal. I am by no means a therapeutic nihilist, acknowledging there are clearly times where judicious surgery and prescribing improve quality of life, or even save lives. But we have strayed from the path of evidence-based practice, overlooking or trivializing the potential harm caused by sloppy diagnosis, over-prescribing, and loose surgical indications.
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