48:00 MINS

Episode 20: Medicine in Denial – Part 2 – An interview with Larry Weed

July 26, 2017

As promised, our latest episode brings you an interview with Dr. Larry Weed.  We hear from the man himself about his vision for a healthcare revolution.

We would love to hear from you about this episode.  Do you think we are doing things right? Or do you think the way we go about diagnosis is fundamentally wrong?

If you’d like to read the complete treatise on Dr. Weed’s vision for revolutionizing our health care and medical training systems, here’s a link to his book Medicine in Denial discussed in the podcast.

With regard to contacting the (US) National Library of Medicine to advocate for a ‘knowledge net’ as discussed by Dr. Weed and his son, Lincoln, Lincoln offers this:

Thanks very much for offering to contact the new director of the National Library of Medicine.  She is Patricia Brennan, whose current email is patti.brennan@nih.gov.  Her training is in nursing and engineering, and she is not an MD — which may be a perfect background for recognizing the potential in Dr. Weed’s ideas.  See this interview with her, where she refers to “the Library’s sweet spot…and that is delivering information back to individuals…”



  1. bobw says:

    I don’t think the main point is whether to ask about whether to pursue 80 or 70 “common” causes, or even how best to do it. The point is to “all play with the same deck”. Once that’s determined, we can finally have a system that allows us to see what works and what doesn’t, based on information collected in a systematic fashion. We finally can learn from our mistakes and continuously improve the knowledge base, the tools, and how we use them. That’s one of the main benefits of integrating PKC tools with a standardized POMR. The Preface to Medicine in Denial roughly reads: what reform needs are standards for managing clinical information and tools to enforce them. Weed’s been saying this for 50+ years, and it falls on deaf ears.

    We can also determine what questions to ask and data to collect that will yield the best rewards in terms of decisions made (for both Dx and Mgt). Many questions can be answered by the patient, essentially at little to no cost the practitioner. And other personnel — not necessarily expensive MDs — can be trained to efficiently develop the pt database. The Burger (2010) Permanente article illustrates that. Needless, expensive tests may be replaced by a few simple questions; or not, depending on evidence of their yield.

  2. Tom S says:

    Shall we build one for chest pain?

  3. Marion J. Ball says:

    The discussion regarding Dr Weed’s Knowledge couplers was excellent and very well presented. Thank you!
    There is no doubt that using enabling technologies, well used, will revolutionize the way we now practice Medicine.
    Dr Weed is a real Visionary.
    Tanks for the two discussions on this subject.

  4. Richard MG says:

    This is an interesting concept.

    I have two queries about Dr Weed’s argument.

    1- Using the example of ‘abdominal pain’ do you really think that an experienced gastroenterologist couldn’t list and sensibly enquire about all the possible causes? He says this is impossible but there seems to be little evidence behind the statement.

    2- Where are all the examples he says have been worked out? It was hard to find but I looked at the commercial website that is associated and there is nothing on it. I think it would help to see this concept worked out for an example.

    1. Nicolas Szecket says:

      Hi Richard. I don’t know that there is any evidence in the traditional sense to suggest that an individual would not be able to retain the 80 or so causes of abdominal pain but also the 400 or so bits of clinical information required to tease them apart but I don’t doubt that it is an impossible task. Dr. Weed also comments that given how our brains work we prematurely shut down lines of enquiry that may be important for the less common causes on the list.

      Regarding your second query, it is difficult to find actual examples of the problem-knowledge couplers. I have emailed the company that bought out Dr. Weed’s PKC company to find out the state of the couplers but as yet have received no reply. I, like you, would be fascinated to see what they are and how they actually could work.


Leave a Reply

Scroll to top