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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
Boston Globe Health and Science staff:
Karen Weintraub, Deputy Health and Science Editor, and Gideon Gil, Health and Science Editor.
Short White Coat blogger Ishani Ganguli
Short White Coat blogger Jennifer Srygley
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
How two doctors think
Slate's Book Club features a conversation between Dr. Jerome Groopman, professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and author of "How Doctors Think," and Dr. Darshak Sanghavi, an assistant professor of pediatrics at the University of Massachusetts Medical School who met Groopman when he was a fellow at Children's Hospital Boston.
"Algorithms and treatment guidelines are based on prototypes," Groopman writes. "They are not substitutes for individual thinking. And they break down when cases are atypical or complex."
Sanghavi, an occasional contributor to the Globe, summarizes their different points of view:
"This ultimately returns to our disagreement about standardizing medical care," he writes. "You feel it often constricts good medical practice; I think we don't have enough of it."