Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Top 25 Medical Advances

USA today is hardly a scientific journal, but it is read by millions of people all over the world. They picked their "Top 25 Medical Advances since 1982" and ranked them. What do you think?
1. AIDS
2. Smoking Cessation
3. Obesity
4. Cancer detection
5. Antidepressants
6. Infant mortality
7. Anticholesterol medications (statins)
8. Cancer vaccines
9. Automated external defibrillators
10. Direct to consumer ads
11. In vitro fertilization
12. Human genome
13. Infections diseases (mad cow, west nile virus)
14. Medical technology
15. Laparoscopic surgery
16. Hormone replacement therapy
17. Attention-deficit hyperactivity medications
18. Chemotherapy
19. Caesarean sections
20. Vioxx
21. Child safety
22. Lasik
23. Sunscreen
24. Viagra
25. Botox

I think they got it wrong. AIDS is clearly number one. It affects 40 million people worldwide and has had a devastating effect on the world. But shouldn't the Human Genome be number 2? This will revolutionize how we diagnose and treat people for the next 50 years. What about Transplant? Stem Cells? Seat Belts and Reproductive surgery?

I would add the "Quality and Safety" movement that has occurred within the past 10 years and the new focus that hospitals and caregivers have for creating standards of care that will save lives. Simple things like hand washing and preventing bed sores (pressure ulcers) will affect millions of people. Reducing hospital acquired infections and medication errors is part of this safety movement. These practices are now part of mainstream medicine and we are focused on measuring and tracking outcomes. Quality and Safety are truly a medical advance.

How the heck did Viagra and Botox make the list? Please....eliminating wrinkles is hardly important to mankind. How you got those wrinkles and what you do with your life on this planet is more important than smooth skin.

5 comments:

Rich said...

The list must have been heavily influenced by men otherwise how WOULD viagra get in there? I agree with what you do with your life and for the good of the planet is surely more important than wrinkles. It's part of the crazy American Culture I would have to guess.

Rich said...

BTW Viagra was the first pill for ED, but it now faces some pretty STIFF competition from Cialis and Levitra.

Anonymous said...

I dont understand Obesity as a medical advance. Is there a medical advance to treat/deal with obesity other than education, or surgical procedures making the stomach smaller?

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with, and love your closing line about what you do with your life being more important then smooth skin.

K.M.

Anonymous said...

I would add three more advances, TPA for stroke patients, the procedure using the corkscrew instrument to remove a clot, and intensive rehab. physical therapy to regain being ambulatory.

In quality of life when someone has a stroke these provide better quality of life then removing wrinkles.

K.M.