I have a question for those in medical school and/or particularly practicing physicians. Do you ever disagree with the currently or commonly held course of treatment for a particular illness? If so, how does a physician handle this conflict? I’m still a few years out from applying to medical school, if that is what I ultimately decide to do, but I frequently come back to this question. I tend to question everything and want to know the “story” behind something before I make a decision on whether I agree - I don’t just blindly believe simply because “it’s what they taught me.” In this day of insurance and Comparative Effectiveness Research, does a physician still have the autonomy to suggest what he/she thinks is best for the patient? For example, when a pt comes into the hospital with suspected appendicitis but during the laparoscopy the surgeon finds that the appendix is perfectly healthy, the appendix is still removed. From one perspective I can understand the rationale for this preventative step, but on the other hand I just think - if it’s not broke, don’t mess with it because it’s probably there for a reason. I’m not looking for a medical explanation of why I am incorrect in my view on this particular matter - I’m just using a minor example to highlight the type of conflict I’m talking about. If you had things you didn’t necessarily agree with before you went to medical school, did those issues resolve themselves while going through the process of learning?


I’m not sure whether this will specifically answer your question, but at the institution I attend there is a BIG push on teaching us to use evidence-based medicine in making decisions for patients. This includes helping us develop skills in critical analysis of research. Being in med school, I think have gained a better understanding as to why particular practices/therapeutic strategies are utilized which I didn’t understand prior to the experiences of medical school.