The laws of medicine

The laws of medicine

Siddhartha Mukherjee Santino Fontana / Feb 21, 2020

The laws of medicine Essential required reading for doctors and patients alike A Pulitzer Prize winning author and one of the world s premiere cancer researchers reveals an urgent philosophy on the little known principle

  • Title: The laws of medicine
  • Author: Siddhartha Mukherjee Santino Fontana
  • ISBN: 9781442378131
  • Page: 241
  • Format: Audiobook
  • Essential, required reading for doctors and patients alike A Pulitzer Prize winning author and one of the world s premiere cancer researchers reveals an urgent philosophy on the little known principles that govern medicine and how understanding these principles can empower us all.Over a decade ago, when Siddhartha Mukherjee was a young, exhausted, and isolated medical resEssential, required reading for doctors and patients alike A Pulitzer Prize winning author and one of the world s premiere cancer researchers reveals an urgent philosophy on the little known principles that govern medicine and how understanding these principles can empower us all.Over a decade ago, when Siddhartha Mukherjee was a young, exhausted, and isolated medical resident, he discovered a book that would forever change the way he understood the medical profession The book, The Youngest Science, forced Dr Mukherjee to ask himself an urgent, fundamental question Is medicine a science Sciences must have laws statements of truth based on repeated experiments that describe some universal attribute of nature But does medicine have laws like other sciences Dr Mukherjee has spent his career pondering this question a question that would ultimately produce some of most serious thinking he would do around the tenets of his discipline culminating in The Laws of Medicine In this important treatise, he investigates the most perplexing and illuminating cases of his career that ultimately led him to identify the three key principles that govern medicine.Brimming with fascinating historical details and modern medical wonders, this important book is a fascinating glimpse into the struggles and Eureka moments that people outside of the medical profession rarely see Written with Dr Mukherjee s signature eloquence and passionate prose, The Laws of Medicine is a critical read, not just for those in the medical profession, but for everyone who is moved to better understand how their health and well being is being treated Ultimately, this book lays the groundwork for a new way of understanding medicine, now and into the future.

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      Published :2019-08-16T16:10:37+00:00

    About "Siddhartha Mukherjee Santino Fontana"

      • Siddhartha Mukherjee Santino Fontana

        Siddhartha Mukherjee is a cancer physician and researcher He is an assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University and a staff cancer physician at Columbia University Medical Center A Rhodes scholar, he graduated from Stanford University, University of Oxford, Harvard Medical School He has published articles in Nature, The New England Journal of Medicine, The New York Times, and The New Republic He lives in New York with his wife and daughters.His book The Emperor of All Maladies A Biography of Cancer won the 2011 Pulitzer prize for general nonfiction.


    1. This is a very short book, but deep. It makes you reflect on the practice of medicine and how it might affect you if you had to make decisions for yourself or another. The first law of medicine, according to the author is “A strong intuition is much more powerful than a weak test.” Or, what you think you are seeing is more likely the case than what the computer spits out if you've been doing all the wrong tests or don't know the true circumstances. Mukherjee uses as an example a man, a conve [...]

    2. How does the saying go? Sometimes big things come in little packages. Which certainly proved true with this book. A TED talk on medicine by the noted cancer physician. Unfortunately I have had more than my fair share of dealing with the medical profession, so I always have an interest in books such as this. Learned much about the tests that are ordered, how doctors make their decisions, drug trials and what they actually mean. Some interesting cases were presented in an easy to understand format [...]

    3. Law One: A strong intuition is much more powerful than a weak test.Law Two: "Normals" teach us rules; "outliers" teach us laws.Law Three: For every perfect medical experiment, there is a perfect human bias.Well, interesting, sort of. I would have probably really liked this in the early days of medical school. Each 'law' is illustrated with a few examples that give the reader a peek into his medical world. You know, the sort of godly laying-of-the-hands-and-the-noble-art-of-medicine world. Not th [...]

    4. This is a very short book and makes for a quick and easy read. It gives color and light to the concept of priors in Bayes theorem. And also reviews a bit more about Bayesian reasoning. The author points out why outliers are more important than inliers in current medicine and are the future of medical theories. So, we have two very important concepts being put forward in crystal clear language: Bayesian reasoning and "outliers" as the perfect ones to study when crafting a law of medicine. The ana [...]

    5. Siddhartha Mukherjee is a wonderful teacher and a truly great science writer. I recently became a fan as I started to get halfway through his masterpiece book The Emperor of All Maladies. I'm still yet to finish that one and I've already bought Gene - An Intimate History and I've already flown through the significantly thinner The Laws of Medicine. A cancer physician and researcher, Dr. Mukherjee straddles academia, clinical work and research in a way only America makes possible for people and i [...]

    6. Some professions are passions, more than bread and butter. To cordon and define them by law or a set of rules is no easy task. Medicine is one among them and like Siddhartha Mukherjee says it is the most beautiful and fragile of all. Diagnostics and treatment rely greatly on accuracy and consistency but we always need to be intuitive because the outlier always gives us a chance for research, not to forget like any other people in this world we are prone to bias. These are some laws which he writ [...]

    7. The Spaces Between the FactsSiddhartha Mukherjee is not only a prominent cancer specialist, he is also the author of the beautifully written (but long) The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer. In this very short book he tries to distill the essential features of medicine that make it a science. The result is about more than medicine, it is an insight into how all of science works, using medicine as a metaphor that is familiar to the reader. A doctor is expected to make perfect decisio [...]

    8. Imparare cose nuove è tra le cose più belle al mondo - ma è ancora più bello quando la nostra curiosità ci spinge a scoprire qualcosa di un argomento di cui non sappiamo nulla. Ed è ancora più bello quando riusciamo a farlo, a imparare - anche se non abbiamo le basi.È per questo che adoro le conferenze TED: in dieci minuti possiamo scoprire qualcosa di nuovo su un argomento che già conosciamo - oppure addentrarci in un campo che ci è completamente nuovo. Basta essere curiosi, basta ave [...]

    9. There is no doubt Mukherjee is an incredible writer. However, there were many times while reading this short book I wish it were a lot longer and more in depth. His description of Bayes' Theorem, and the entire book in general, was intended for the layperson. Overall, a good exposure to biases we all have while trying to make decisions in times of uncertainty, yet not enough to gain more than a superficial understanding.

    10. I pre-ordered the book because Siddhartha Mukherjee's Emperor of All Maladies is my all time favorite and the description of why there should be "laws" in medicine fascinated me.The only disappointment I had was that the book is just 70 pages and I finished it in one reading.I got at least one career idea and a lot of inspiring thoughts while going through them.

    11. The Laws of Medicine is a little book with a big impression. It highlights the conundrums of “laws” governing established medical science versus medical-science-in-progress. As a young intern, the author had grappled with bridging the tangible aspects of knowledge with intangible clinical wisdom. What is this X factor that would make him a better doctor? Those thoughts formulated and crystallized into the titular subject. The three laws outlined are not general laws of medicine, rather, they [...]

    12. I suspect that the vast majority of us know very little about how one becomes a doctor that hasn’t been informed by TV shows. We expect doctors to diagnose like Dr. House or care for us like Dr. Dorian or entertain us like Patch Adams. Anyone who’s gotten a whiff of medical school will be quick to correct our misperceptions, but there are only a few doctors who are bringing the mysterious inner workings of practicing medicine to light for the general public. Atul Gawande is one. The late Oli [...]

    13. Short but jam packed.Mukherjee is a wonderful writer.There's Bayes theorem,astronomy to explain medical mysteries,Heisenberg theories.Lots of stuff!Anyone who thinks that doctors will be replaced by technology can relax.The human touch is irreplaceable."The medical revolution will not be algorithmized."For the feminists he reports on bias."Women are notoriously underrepresented in randomized studies.In fact female mice are notoriously underrepresented in laboratory studies."Years ago I read abou [...]

    14. For a non-fiction piece of work, this guy can write and keep me interested almost like a fiction story. I've read The Emperor of All Maladies a few years ago and was fascinated. I am an Oncology Nurse, but they don't teach this stuff in Nursing School. I love how this man writes nonfiction. It is not a dry and boring affair. I have already pre-ordered his next book.

    15. 3.4 stars****Loved the talk, wasn't too sure about the book though. I spent too much time looking up medical jargon and losing my rhythm with the book. Overall, a enriching read over a field I've admired afar. "It's easy to make perfect decisions with perfect information. Medicine asks you to make perfect decisions with imperfect information"

    16. I have learned so much more information from this man in the past couple of hours than I've ever come close to learn anything so useful in classroom lectures. What an unbelievable experience this man emits to the future of medicine. I seriously wish he was my professor!! What an exemplary genius!!!! The study of medicine is grueling and challenging. It's an everyday discovery to come up with the laws explained in this little book!! This is a great reminder that everyone is different, just as in [...]

    17. Interesting to read this while also reading Thinking, Fast and Slow. He talks about doctors using intuition and that being better than some screening tests with less than perfect sensitivity and specificity. Intuition is the fast thinking built on subconsciously stored information and connections from previous experiences. It's both scary and interesting to think about how much of medicine is an art and still far from a hard and fast science.

    18. Small book based on a TED-talk, but luckily without the annoying language of a TED-talk.It serves as a very brief introduction to Bayesian thinking or Bayesian inference, with a short intro to a world where everything has a false and a negative positive rate - here it is applied to the world of medicine, but you could (should?) also use it in politics, research, sports, economics, the way you run your company etc. I'd love to live in a world where a politician "flip-flopping" isn't a bad thing, [...]

    19. I've been meaning to read Mukherjee for a while now, especially considering how highly regarded Emperor of all Maladies is. That tome is 571 pages, though, so I thought The Laws of Medicine would be a better introduction.And straight off I can tell you that I like his writing and his style. He neither dumbs down examples nor overexplains details. I want to read more especially because this book is so short.Clocking in at under 100 pages, it introduces the three laws of medicine Mukherjee devised [...]

    20. I am sorry to give such a low review for the author I like.But GoodReads should have some kind of a warning like "It's a teeny-tiny book and if you like to read something 500+ pages long, you'll be disappointed".That's exactly what happened to me.I read The Emperor of All Maladies and loved it. So I ordered this one just because of the author and hoped for the same deep and interesting info just outside of cancer research and more on general medicine. And what I got is a TED talk in a book forma [...]

    21. Cuốn sách chỉ với 120 trang là sự chia sẻ mang tính cá nhân của tác giả - một bác sĩ, nhà nghiên cứu nổi tiếng trong lĩnh vực ung thư. Y học là một ngành khoa học kỳ lạ được chi phối bởi sự tiền nghiệm, ngoại lệ và thiên kiến. Sự mơ hồ, không rõ ràng và thiếu thông tin trong y học là thách thức lớn mà chúng ta đã và đang phải đối mặt. Công nghệ, kỹ thuật phát triển mạnh mẽ mang đ [...]

    22. A short book on the scientific basis of medical practice. Doctors here usually don't pay much attention to these simple laws. Have a look at these laws: 1. A strong intuition is much more powerful than a weak test.2. "Normals" teach us rules; "outliers" teach us laws.3. For every perfect medical experiment, there is a perfect human bias.It doesn't look very profound.Read the book and you may be surprised to know how simple & profound these laws are.You may also visit TED for some more provoc [...]

    23. Great and a short book about the unwritten laws of medicine.Mukherjee summarizes the three rules of medicine that all medical professionals and anyone else interested in medicine should be aware of. We all see common mistakes of false interpretation of tests, unnecessary orders and incorrect treatments. His quick and short summary of three rules shed a light of how many of these errors occur and what is a better way to practice medicine - which is not a pure science but a mixture of a science an [...]

    24. It's just like watching a Ted talk, but better. Because you can highlight, underline, and keep notes of what ever bits of information you find important.I love the book very much, the writing is amazing. The concepts mentioned and the vocabulary selected is beyond fascinating.I knew it wouldn't be an ordinary book about the laws of medicine and its technicalities, and I was right!Can't wait to read the other TED books in my list, this was definitely a good start to my TED journey.

    25. A brief treatise on three laws - based on the concepts of priors, outliers, and biases - that Mukherjee developed to help him "make perfect [medical] decisions with imperfect information." These "laws of medicine" can also help patients to understand the limits of medicine. Mukherjee's examples are well-chosen and except for the first anecdote, the prose is tight. My only recommendation is that TED books should include a list of books for further reading.

    26. This book was very good and brought out a lot of good points about the practice of Medicine. I have suggested this book to our Vice Dean of Medicine and suggested that it be required reading for all our interns and residents. It will serve as a reminder that they really need to pay attention to the patient as a whole and not just look at the disease.

    27. Siddhartha Mukherjee is an annoyingly accomplished human being, a world-class doctor and cancer researcher seemingly affiliated with all the planet's best universities, a man who apparently decided to become a Pulitzer Prize-winning author in his spare time. I suppose if anybody's allowed to publish some idle musings in a grandiosely-titled 50-page TED Talk pamphlet and call it a book, he is.

    28. Difficult readings technical medical knowledge with philosophical thinking. Reminds me of the philosophy of science course I took many years ago. Who would have thought that Popper would come up again after all these years?

    29. The author calls it the Uncertain Science-yes, you heard it right, Siddhartha Mukherjee, who himself is at the pinnacle of clinical medicine (he is an oncologist), considers Medicine to be an uncertain science. I do endorse his view, being from the medical fraternity. But, alas a layman isn’t aware of all the uncertainties that is associated with the enigmatic science that is Medicine. There is an urgent need for people to know of the pitfalls that are prevalent in Medicine, where two plus two [...]

    30. על אינטואיציה נכונה ולא נכונה ברפואה.מציג חלקים מעניינים ולא מוכרים של הרפואה (למשל, למה לא כדאי לעשות בדיקות סתם) אבל קצר ולא מעמיק.

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