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Tag : heart

"Normal" is Not Acceptable

By Dr. Jerry Mixon July 28, 2013

When doctors say "normal" patients hear "good". But in medicine, normal has a very specific meaning.

Normal is arbitrarily defined as encompassing 95% of the population. When your doctor says your test was normal, what he is really saying is that you are better off than at least 2.5% of the population on one end of the scale or the other. If your brain, heart, lungs, or bones are better than 3% or 97% of the people, you are equally normal. I don’t know about you, but given a choice, I will choose to be better than 97% rather than 3% every time. When your doctor says your test was normal for your age, it means at least 2% of the old fogies in your age group are worse off than you.

That is not acceptable. Tell your doctor that you won’t accept normal; you want optimal.

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