Used cars and prostate cancer and bias…the doctor and the patient can both be biased.


If all you have is a hammer…the whole world is a nail.

My brother Bob once sold used cars. It was always humorous to him how customers would come in with cost comparisons that had been obtained from either another dealership or the internet. The customer, in my brother’s view, almost always had a false sense of security about their knowledge of the worth of their used car or their ability to negotiate. My brother related to me an adage well known in the car business that relates not only to a used car customer but also to a “little knowledge” type of patient. My brother would pose this question to me: “John, if you’re betting between a salesman who does what he does for a living 365 days a year and Joe Blow, the customer, who buys a car once every five years, who do you think will win?” The tangential analogy here is that it is foolhardy to do research on your own and make your mind up without filtering your research through the prism of a specialist who deals with this disease on a daily basis. Many patients rightfully ask, “You do this all the time, what would you advise?” It is surprising, however, how often it occurs that after a patient is informed of the diagnosis, he does some research or is impressed with a brochure that he got in the mail and doesn’t come back to the urologist for further consultation. In this type of patient, two factors are in play. They have wrongly assumed that they already understand all the nuances of the disease and the treatments, and they feel that the urologic surgeon is going to recommend surgery. This patient’s thinking is that because the urologist is a “if all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail” type of person, there is no reason to go back.

The point is to sap everybody and every thing you know for all the information you can get and be sure your research is focused and pertinent only to you and then……make your decision.

From “The Decision”

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One Reply to “Used cars and prostate cancer and bias…the doctor and the patient can both be biased.”

  1. If the used car salesman is new then i’d bet my knowledge against his.
    I the used car salesman is lazy, uninterested and dishonest I’d bet my knowledge against his.
    Same holds for Urologists

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