How medicine got too good for its own good
IN THE 1970s, H. Gilbert Welch drove an ambulance as a college job in Boulder, Colorado, often blaring out Elton John’s Someone Saved My Life Tonight. Wanting to save lives led him to study medicine, but he came to realise that saving lives wasn’t as clear cut as he thought. Sometimes, he found, it can be better to do nothing.
Welch became a physician and academic researcher, and he has spent the last 25 years warning of the dangers of overzealous medicine. He worries that doctors are detecting