The Expert Opinion — The Lowest Form of Evidence


What Patients Should Ask Their Doctor Before Undergoing Any Treatment

We’ve all heard the phrase, “Trust me, I’m an expert.” While it may sound convincing—especially when coming from a white coat with a stethoscope—relying solely on ‘expert opinion‘ isn’t the best approach to healthcare. In the medical field, evidence comes in layers, like a cake. Expert opinion is the icing on top, while the most dependable data, like randomized controlled trials and meta-analyses, are the solid base layers holding everything up.

Before you sign up for any treatment, go on a fact-finding mission. Here’s your Sherlock Holmes starter pack:

What’s the Evidence?

Ask your doctor about the evidence behind the treatment. Has it been backed by randomized controlled trials? Are there any meta-analyses supporting it?


Are there national or international guidelines advocating this therapy? Guidelines aren’t just whimsical notions; they’re the ‘best hits’ of medical wisdom.

Side Effects

Every rose has its thorns, and every treatment has its side effects. Know what you’re signing up for, so you’re not caught off-guard.

Recurrence Risks

How often does the issue recur after this treatment? You wouldn’t want a ‘Round 2,’ would you?


Are there other treatments available? What are their pros and cons? Compare them like you would compare Netflix shows.

Doctor’s Data

This might sound technical, but does your physician have a database of their outcomes? It’s like checking user reviews before buying a vacuum cleaner, but more life-altering.


What happens if you don’t undergo this treatment? Knowing the flip side is essential.

So next time your doc suggests a course of action and states, “Trust me, I’m an expert,” remember that even experts benefit from a second opinion—the evidence. After all, you wouldn’t eat a cake made entirely of icing, would you?