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Modern medicine has some things in common with football- or maybe I just have theSuper Bowl on the brain. Both, it seems to me, tend to foster our occasionally overinflated hopes, leaving us at times to contend with a relatively, well, deflatedreality.
Both are team sports, advancing courtesy of collective effort. And by and large, progress in each is predicated on prior progress. There is, in football, the occasional kickoff return for a touchdown, or a Hail Mary reception; and in biomedicine, the occasional “Eureka!,” although most of those tales prove apocryphal on close inspection, Newton’s apple included. But in both, advance is generally achieved one arduous set of downs at a time./.../