What do you get when you cross 3 pediatricians, 4 internists, 3 family doctors, 2 epidemiologists, 2 nurses, a PhD, an obstetrician, a perinatologist and an occupational medicine doctor? Unfortunately, this is not a joke. You get a Federal Government panel, given the imprimatur as experts on a medical subject that if any one of them individually treated, would be considered malpractice. This would be the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF), an ad hoc committee charged with making recommendations about clinical preventative services. They have just issued their findings that there is no role for routine PSA screening in men...
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I've been told that meta-analysis can be a useful tool but the methods must be scrupulously followed to have meaning. How would the average physician be able to evaluate the methods to see if they lead to a valid result? In addition who is to say that whatever result was obtained was interpreted to serve their objective?
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