‘Snowball In A Blizzard’: UMass Doctor On Medical Uncertainty

A woman receives a mammogram (Wikimedia Commons)

A woman receives a mammogram (Wikimedia Commons)

Dr. Steven Hatch of UMass Memorial says it’s time to ditch the model of “Doctor Knows Best,” and replace it with a more honest discussion of what Doctors know and don’t know. In his new book, “Snowball In A Blizzard,” he writes that “Uncertainty lies at the heart of what physicians do on a daily basis.”


Dr. Steven Hatch, assistant professor of medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School working in the Division of Infectious Disease and Immunology. His book is “Snowball In A Blizzard: A Physician’s Notes On Uncertainty In Medicine.


The Boston Globe: Dr. Steven Hatch Investigates The ‘Spectrum Of Certainty’

  • “Hatch believes that doctors are trained from medical school on to believe ‘that there always must be a right answer.’ This belief can have negative effects on patients. ‘When you stumble upon a patient where you don’t know what’s going on, it is very hard for certain physicians not to be frustrated with the lack of an answer — and they take it out on their patients,’ Hatch said. Patients whose symptoms confound their doctors sometimes receive less attentive care than those with more easily diagnosed conditions.”

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