News Headlines Article

How Clinical Guidelines Can Fail Both Doctors and Patients
The Health Care Blog

Any confusion over the recent news of cholesterol guidelines in the U.S. is perfectly understandable. On the one hand, the guidelines suggest that nearly half the population should use statins to stave off heart attacks and strokes. On the other, use of the drugs is not with potential side effects and, to many, will offer no substantive benefits.

The controversy highlights a problem mired in an outdated way of thinking about health care and the doctor-patient relationship. Guidelines came about after generations of physicians wanted to bring something more than “opinion and experience” to the patient’s bedside.