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The Bookshelf: Dec. 22, 2015

In this week's Bookshelf, our content partner Kirkus Reviews highlights Snowball in a Blizzard.

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Trib+Health is joining with respected books authority Kirkus Reviews to bring you select reviews of books of note in the field of health care. For more book reviews and recommendations, visit

SNOWBALL IN A BLIZZARD: A Physician's Notes on Uncertainty in Medicine

by Steven Hatch

An exploration of the uncertainty that lies at the heart of Western medicine. ... The opening chapters deal with uncertainty in diagnosis, which takes the author into a discussion of the debate over screening for prostate cancers and breast cancers — reading a mammogram can be as tricky as looking for a snowball in a blizzard. In the next section, Hatch considers uncertainty in treatment, including controversies over how to treat hypertension and Lyme disease. ... In writing, Hatch strives to find “that sweet spot where readability and scholarliness overlap.” Generally, he succeeds, telling stories that clarify the points he’s making, and he even includes a highly personal anecdote that shows him struggling to deal with doctors who were sure they knew the right treatment for his elderly, hospitalized father.

For the full review, visit

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