Dr. Chelsea Clinton and Dr. Randi Hutter Epstein, adjunct professor at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism, discussed the ethics of marketing wellness during Talks at Columbia.
Both speakers expressed how patient activism and attitudes of bioethics have shaped scientific research, therapies, and public perceptions of the health industry.
“I think it’s a challenge for not only doctors but for any of us who care about public health, to just be candid about the degree of certainty,” Dr. Clinton said. “And hopefully that helps to build a relationship of trust with individual patients, being candid when we get things wrong.”
During the discussion, Dr. Epstein draws examples from her book Aroused: The History of Hormones and How They Control Just About Everything and touches on her personal experiences.
“One of my medical professors always asked patients to repeat back what they had heard, and they would admit they weren’t listening,” she said. “But I think that’s a start of where people’s fears are and getting back to people appreciating the uncertainty of medicine, which I think is really hard.”