BOOKS

Snowball in a Blizzard

Steven Hatch

RRP: £9.99

2 March 2017

Published by Atlantic Books

ISBN: 9781782399896

RRP: £14.99

2 June 2016

Published by Atlantic Books

ISBN: 9781782399872

RRP: £8.99

2 June 2016

Published by Atlantic Books

ISBN: 9781782399889

There’s a running joke among radiologists: finding a possible tumour in a mammogram, they say, is akin to finding a snowball in a blizzard. The result? Up to 30% of breast cancer surgeries are done on those who have no cancer at all.

In this landmark book, medical professor Steven Hatch reveals that although modern medicine has reached new levels of scientific prowess, we know far less than we think we do. Indeed, CAT scans, MRIs, Mammograms, and blood tests provide a wall of data where false positives are rife. Thus, to be a good doctor, surgeon, or psychiatrist, it is just as important to know what one doesn’t know, as what one does.

Covering everything from the efficacy of Prozac to the regular barrage of health advice by the media (e.g. bacon causing cancer), Hatch shows why it’s essential that doctors and their patients know how to interpret data. A drug that might be very effective to a certain cohort of patients suddenly becomes little more than a placebo when given to large bodies of the population (think Statins). A prognosis of 10 years to live might be accurate on average but mean nothing for the individual cancer patient. Filled with the kind of revelations about flawed human reasoning that made Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow a bestseller, this is the must-read medical book for 2016.

REVIEWS

A fascinating and very readable study
The Guardian

Wonderfully user-friendly. Like a conversation with a doctor that you'd trust with your life. This should be mandatory reading for anyone giving medical advice.

Ray Tallis – author and former Professor of Medicine at the University of Manchester

A masterful unmasking of medicine's unspoken secrets. Empowering and enlightening.James Davies, bestselling author of Cracked: Why Psychiatry is Doing More Harm than Good

Like a "baloney detection kit" for medical scientific research. How can we figure out which "discoveries" to trust or to take with a grain of salt? First step: Read this book.
Katrina Firlik, Neurosurgeon and author of Another Day in the Frontal Lobe: A Brain Surgeon Exposes Life on the Inside

Masterfully-argued
Larry Tye, Director of the Boston-based Health Coverage Fellowship and author of New York Times bestseller Satchel