My current research is concentrated in the philosophy of science and philosophy of medicine. It has two strands: disease and biomedicine, and epidemiology and evidence-based medicine (see below). I am currently writing a research monograph, tentatively titled The New Modern Medicine, that weaves these strands together to provide a book-length treatment of aspects of contemporary medicine that make it interesting and problematic, especially chronic disease and evidence-based medicine. I have also done research in health professions education on social sciences and humanities in medical training (below), and research in neuroscience. Links to my articles can be found on this page.
I develop implications of my work for science and healthcare. My research has particular relevance for medical ontologies/classification systems, evidence evaluation and implementation, healthcare training, and public health and preventive medicine. Some of my papers are written for a philosophical audience, others for a healthcare audience.
Disease and biomedicine
My research investigates the nature of chronic disease, disease classification, models of disease/prevention, and healthcare’s ‘new medical model’. What are chronic diseases, why are they chronic and incurable? How does the way we classify diseases affect whether they have a universal or a multifactorial etiology? How should we model prevention of disease versus cure? What is the dominant model of healthcare, and what are its essential elements?
Epidemiology and Evidence-based medicine
My research investigates the role of meta-research in clinical reasoning, causal inference in epidemiologic studies, predicting and extrapolating from epidemiologic studies, and evidence and risk in evidence-based medicine (EBM). What role should meta-research play in evaluating therapies? How do randomized trials really work? How do we extrapolate results from epidemiologic studies and apply them to individual patients? What is ‘medical risk’? What theory of evidence is sorely missing in EBM, and how can it rescue clinical reasoning?
“The Risk GP Model: the standard model of prediction in medicine.” Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences. [Discussed in: “Evidence-based medicine lacks solid supporting evidence.” Science News.]
Health professions education
My research investigates the role of the social sciences and humanities (especially philosophy) in health professions training. How can philosophy, history, and literature help us train better health providers?
*for a full list of publications, please see my CV.
Peer-Reviewed Research Articles – Medicine:
Journal Commentaries and Editorials:
Letters to the Editor: