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Making Medical Knowledge$
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Miriam Solomon

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198732617

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198732617.001.0001

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A Developing, Untidy, Methodological Pluralism

A Developing, Untidy, Methodological Pluralism

(p.206) 9 A Developing, Untidy, Methodological Pluralism
Making Medical Knowledge

Miriam Solomon

Oxford University Press

The methods discussed in this book occasionally contribute to medical controversy, especially when they have contrary findings. In general, disagreement is good for science but not so good for medicine, because it weakens medical authority. In the medical context, disagreement is often “managed” away. In this chapter the case of screening mammography for women aged 40–49 is discussed in detail. This is a case in which it has not been possible to “manage” disagreement, and there is continuing controversy. This chapter shows the untidiness of the methods and defends a pluralistic and developmental understanding of them.

Keywords:   consensus conference, evidence-based medicine, EBM, clinical judgment, narrative medicine, guideline syntheses, screening mammography, pluralism, medical authority, medical controversy

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