Carl Heneghan

Could mass testing for Covid-19 do more harm than good?

Coronavirus testing kits (Getty images)

Making a diagnosis used to be a well understood and practised procedure: take a history from someone presenting with symptoms, examine them and do some tests to arrive at an overall diagnosis. It requires substantial training and experience to put this into practice. William Osler, known as one of the founders of modern medicine, often directed his trainees to ‘listen to the patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis’.

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Written by
Carl Heneghan
Carl Heneghan is professor of evidence-based medicine at the University of Oxford and director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine

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