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Idea Machines

Feb 12, 2019

In this episode I talk to Dr Robert McNutt about medical innovation, medical research and publishing, and patient choice.

Robert has been practicing medicine for decades and has published many dozens of medical research papers. He is a former editor of JAMA - the Journal of the American Medical Association. He's created pain care simulation programs, run hospitals, sat on the national board of medical examiners, taught at the university of North Carolina and Wisconsin schools of medicine, and published dozens of articles and several books. On top of all of that he is a practicing oncologist. We draw on this massive experience with different sides of medicine to dig into how medical innovations happen and also less-than-positive changes. It's always fascinating to crack open the box of a different world so I hope you enjoy this conversation with Dr. Robert McNutt.

Major takeaways

  1. The practice of medicine has changed significantly over the past several decades - there has an explosion of research and specialization. This proliferation has led to many innovations, but has also decreased the ratio of signal to noise in medical advice both for doctors and patients. For another perspective on the explosion of research, listen to my conversation with Brian Nosek.

  2. While it would be amazing to have a process that was based purely on very strict scientific method, health is so complicated that the ideal is impossible. That means, like so many imperfect system, that ultimately so much comes down to human judgement. 


Robert's Blog

Robert's Book

Tomaxin Case Study

Observational Trials