“Why Doctor Need Stories NYT

  • Posted by Dr. Jay Gordon

Why Doctors Need Stories

Much of the discussion around vaccination focuses on a series of anecdotes from parents who feel their children were harmed by vaccines. Most of these parents speak with conviction one can’t possibly ignore. I have “collected” those very personal difficult stories and they influence my thoughts about vaccines and about the current vaccination schedule in particular.

There are also stories from parents whose children were inarguably harmed by illnesses which are usually prevented by vaccines. Ignoring these parents is unscientific and wrong, too.

When confronted with the cliché “The plural of anecdote is not data” my response is, yes, a series of anecdotes must be taken seriously and does amount to valuable data.

I love the term the physician/author uses here: “judgement based medicine.”

Evidence-based medicine is a crucial piece of all medical discussions and puzzles. But it is not the only piece.

Why Doctors Need Stories

In an era of systematic clinical research, medicine still requires the vignette.