• Nathan Riley, MD

On the Importance of Uncertainty in Medicine

Over the course of history, the majority of scientific hypotheses have been wrong. Uncertainty is a central tenet of science and thus medicine. A true scientist will practice medicine as a skeptic. So why are we so dogmatic in our practice?

1. conflicts of interest

2. cognitive dissonance

3. investment

Admitting that we are wrong in a culture that demands perfection is dangerous thus we surround ourselves with people that support our views in order to never have to admit fault. But this contradicts that central tenet of science: uncertainty. Society requires scientists to doubt. To question. And ultimately to guide it through educated, just conclusions.

Being wrong most of the time is our job.

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