2019 Thomas S. Inui Lecture

2019 Thomas S. Inui Lecture

April 2, 2019

Too much medicine: winding back the harms of excess

The 2019 Annual Thomas S. Inui lecture featured Fiona Godlee, FCRP, Editor in Chief of The BMJ. In a homecoming of sorts, Dr. Godlee returned to DPM for the first time after having studied here as a Harkness Fellow from 1994 – 1995. She navigated a busy day of meetings with DPM junior faculty and with the five research divisions, offering her expertise on how faculty can: publish in high-impact journals, overcome obstacles encountered when trying to leverage intervention and observational studies for multiple analyses, make pediatric health research appealing to medical journals, and more.

Harvard Medical School’s Benjamin Waterhouse Room at Gordon Hall provided the ideal setting for the lecture, titled "Too much medicine: winding back the harms of excess". Dr. Robert Fletcher, Professor Emeritus and Dr. Godlee’s mentor, introduced her talk with fond memories and anecdotes from her time in Boston.

Dr. Godlee, who descends from a long line of doctors, opened her talk with this statement: “I want to make my starting point clear – I believe in medicine. I think it’s a good thing. It does wonderful things. Modern medicine is one of humanity’s greatest achievements, prolonging life and alleviating suffering. But my thesis is: that medicine has a great potential to do harm. It has gotten things wrong in the past – terribly wrong – and it continues to do so.”  Dr. Godlee’s talk, and the robust discussion that followed, led by Thomas Inui, can be viewed in its entirety here.

Pictured, left to right: Richard Platt, Fiona Godlee, Nancy Inui, Thomas Inui
Pictured above, left to right: Professor and Department Chair Richard Platt, Fiona Godlee, Nancy Inui, Founding Department Chair Thomas S. Inui
Dr. Godlee, pictured above middle, with Dr. Suzanne and Robert Fletcher
Dr. Godlee, pictured above middle, with Drs. Suzanne and Robert Fletcher