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Medical Research 101

How To Cope With The Emotions That Accompany Medical Research

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Reading and hearing cold, hard details (with worst case scenarios) can be painful at times. It helps to understand the emotional fall out often provoked by knowledge and to prepare for it by finding ways of putting what you learn into perspective. For example:

  • Focus on the survival rate, rather than the number of people who die. If 15% of people die, that means 85% survive. 
  • Understand the degree of risk and of certainty. 
  • Consider the facts to be a challenge instead of a verdict. You are an individual. There is no way to predict what happens with any individual.
  • There is no certainty. This uncertainty is reason for hope. If the facts prove otherwise, you can deal with them as they come. 
  • Research literature by its nature will always be behind the best current available treatments. Thus your odds are likely to be an improvement over what you read in the studies.
To learn how to deal with various emotions, see: What Do I Do With All These Emotions?

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