ST on Health: Dr. H. Gilbert Welch Makes the Case for "Less Medicine, More Health"

Apr 3, 2015

On this installment of ST on Health, we speak with Dr. H. Gilbert Welch, a professor at Dartmouth Medical School and nationally recognized expert on the effects of medical testing. His past books include the widely acclaimed "Overdiagnosed." Dr. Welch joins us to talk about his new book, "Less Medicine, More Health: 7 Assumptions That Drive Too Much Medical Care." It's a volume that offers, in the words of Kirkus, "a bright, lively discussion of the excesses of medical care to which patients often unwittingly go due to certain false assumptions.... Welch demonstrates the flaws in these assumptions. His stories involve the risks, uncertainties, and harms of cancer screenings, treatments for heart disease, drugs, medical devices, and surgical procedures. He makes an especially strong case for the risks of mass screenings for cancer -- the fear, the false alarms, the overdiagnoses, and the resulting overtreatments. Vivid images make what could be discouragingly technical quite understandable.... Welch's engaging style and touches of humor make this an easy read, and the facts he presents make a convincing case." And further, as was noted of this work in a starred review in Booklist: "Avoiding medical jargon, Welch speaks directly to the layperson and focuses on certain assumptions that have increased consumption in a market-driven society; some of which have become so ingrained by popular media that refuting them seems downright scandalous.... Welch’s words, though wise beyond money, border on sacrilege in a country of generally healthy people who have developed an expensive health-care habit and who are expected to support a lucrative health-care industry. Welch’s conversational style makes his prescription for better health an easy pill to swallow."