epistemology


Diagnosing Diagnosis: A Historical and Epistemological Exploration of the Internist’s Most Important Procedure

  What does it mean to make a diagnosis? Are we always talking about the same thing? If you couldn’t make the lecture in person, here is a recording of the Grand Rounds I gave this year at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center where I explore the changing definitions of diagnosis […]


Episode 50: I Know Nothing

  What does it mean to know something in medicine? In this episode, we’ll explore this question by developing a historical framework of medical epistemologies in a journey that involves King Nebuchadnezzar, citrus fruit, leeches, water pumps, ICD-10, Socrates, skepticism, and 1970’s computer programs designed to replace doctors. This is […]


Episode 47: The Criteria

  Can we ever know what causes a chronic disease? In this episode, I’m joined again by Dr. Shoshana Herzig to finish a three-part miniseries on Bradford Hill and Doll’s attempts to prove that smoking caused lung cancer. We’ll talk about the first prospective cohort trial in history, 1960s “Fake […]


Episode 46: Cause and Effect

Does smoking cause lung cancer? How could you ever know? The second in a three-part series on causality, I’m joined by Dr. Shoshana Herzig to discuss how Austin Bradford Hill and Richard Doll set out to try and answer this question — and along the way revolutionized the way we […]