Doctoring Data is an extremely thought-provoking and well-written book. Its author, Dr. Kendrick, challenges his readers to rise to the challenge of sorting out medical sense from medical nonsense. He discusses ten strategies that he feels are effective in allowing readers to wade through the mire of studies and determining what they should believe.
In his book, Dr. Kendrick also includes many of his own personal medical beliefs. He believes that high cholesterol is not a precursor or risk for a heart attack, and points out flawed studies that would wrongly support the high cholesterol/risk theory.
The overall layout of the book is designed to give the reader a wide range of techniques that allows for intelligent analyzing of medical information. Dr. Kendrick says that the best way of thinking is diving things into three categories: probable, possible, and unlikely. This thinking is more flexible than absolutist thinking and allows for the objective criticizing that must occur for advancements to be made.
Overall, Doctoring Data gives readers a refreshing sense of reality. It provides insights and reasoning as to why and how doctors are biased. It is filled with quipy one-liners, bringing to the readers’ attention the obvious yet very amusing sarcasm that Dr. Kendrick drawls out.
In conclusion, here is a quote from Dr. Kendrick that summarizes his guarded optimism for the health field:
“Because I have so much for what western medicine can do when it goes right, I really, really, hate to see it when it goes horribly wrong. When it is distorted, manipulated, and used for the wrong purposes”
-Dr. Malcolm Kendrick, Doctoring Data, pg. 242-243