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MUSINGS - REVELATIONS - REVIEWS

In the midst of an epidemiologic revolution

The 48th Annual Meeting of the Society for Epidemiologic Research took place in Denver, Colorado 16-19 June 2015. For me, the highlight of the Meeting was the 2015 Keynote Cassel Lecture delivered by Dr Judea Pearl: The Scientific Approach to Causal Inference.

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Are doctors experts on life expectancy?

In Doctors are not experts on life expectancy1 David Strauss and Robert Shavelle noted that some clinicians testifying as expert witnesses on life expectancy did not have a very good grasp of the subject. As a result some were providing confusing and/or surprising opinions. The authors provided a number of examples. We can confirm that such misstatements continue to be made in this setting today, but the question of whether doctors are experts on life expectancy is not settled by such examples.

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