NCCIH presents “When Experts Disagree: The Art of Medical Decision Making”


The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) will welcome acclaimed authors Jerome Groopman, M.D. and Pamela Hartzband, M.D. as featured speakers for the sixth annual Stephen E. Straus Distinguished Lecture in the Science of Complementary Health Therapies. The husband-and-wife team will present When Experts Disagree: The Art of Medical Decision Making. Dr. Groopman is the Dina and Raphael Recanati chair of medicine at Harvard Medical School and chief of experimental medicine at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Dr. Hartzband is assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and attending physician in the division of endocrinology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.


Drs. Groopman and Hartzband reveal that each of us has a medical mind, a highly individual approach to weighing the risks and benefits of treatment. To ascertain our unique medical minds, they will present probing questions. Are you a minimalist or a maximalist, a believer or a doubter, do you look for natural healing or the latest technology? Drs. Groopman and Hartzband explain how pitfalls in thinking and the way statistics are presented in pharmaceutical advertisements, the media, and even scientific reports can mislead all of us. The talk will demonstrate the contrast between the roles of population guidelines with the care of the individual, and explain the complexities of end of life care all factors that contribute to a persons medical mind. In their talk, Drs. Groopman and Hartzband will weave vivid narratives from real patient experiences with insights from recent cognitive research to demonstrate how to arrive at choices that serve the individual best.


Monday, May 11, 2015, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. EST


National Institutes of Health, Building 10, 10 Center Drive, Bethesda, Md. Lecture: Masur Auditorium. Visitor information is available at

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The lecture will be streamed live at Sign language interpretation will be provided; for other reasonable accommodation call Prachi Patel at 301-275-4769.

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The event is free and open to the public.


Presented by NCCIH and supported by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health with a generous gift from Bernard and Barbro Osher.

*The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) was formerly the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM).

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