Helping Doctors and Patients: Make Sense of Health Statistics

Efficient and affordable health care requires informed doctors and patients, but studies show that they do not understand health statistics. Health organizations and industries exploit this innumeracy to make small benefits of treatments or medication appear big and their harms appear small, causing unnecessary harms, fear, and waste of taxpayers’ money. The ideals of informed consent and shared decision-making are still a science fiction, and doctors and patients are easily misled by biased information through health brochures and advertisements. The lecture focused on techniques for helping doctors and patients make sense of medical evidence, as Risk literacy in health could save more lives than expensive screening programmes and Big Data analytics.

Gerd Gigerenzer is Director of the Harding Center for Risk Literacy at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin and partner of Simply Rational-The Institute for Decisions. He is a former Director of the Adaptive Behavior and Cognition at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin and Professor of Psychology at the University of Chicago.

His award-winning popular books Calculated Risks, Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious, and Risk Savvy: How to make good decisions have been translated into 21 languages. The Swiss Duttweiler Institute has distinguished Gigerenzer as one of the top-100 Global Thought Leaders worldwide.

Mohan Rao is Professor at Centre of Social Medicine and Community Health, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

Friday, 19 January 2018
3 pm, Conference Room I
India International Centre
40, Max Mueller Marg, New Delhi