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Publisher's Summary

An acclaimed medical expert and patient advocate offers an eye-opening look at many common and widely used medical interventions that have been shown to be far more harmful than helpful. Yet, surprisingly, despite clear evidence to the contrary, most doctors continue to recommend them.

Modern medicine has significantly advanced in the last few decades as more informed practices, thorough research, and incredible breakthroughs have made it possible to successfully treat and even eradicate many serious ailments. Illnesses that once were a death sentence, such as HIV and certain forms of cancer, can now be managed, allowing those affected to live longer, healthier lives. Because of these advances, we now live 30 years longer than we did 100 years ago.

But while we have learned much in the preceding decades that has changed our outlook and practices, we still rely on medical interventions that are vastly out of date and can adversely affect our health. We all know that finishing the course of antibiotics prevents the recurrence of illness, that sunscreens block harmful UV rays that cause skin cancer, and that all cancer-screening programs save lives. But do scientific studies really back this up? 

In this game-changing book, Dr. Paul A. Offit debunks 15 common medical interventions that have long been considered gospel despite mounting evidence of their adverse effects, from vitamins, sunscreen, fever-reducing medicines, and eyedrops for pink eye to more serious procedures like heart stents and knee surgery. Analyzing how these practices came to be, the biology of what makes them so ineffective and harmful, and the medical culture that continues to promote them, Overkill informs patients to help them advocate for their health. By educating ourselves, we can ask better questions about some of the drugs and surgeries that are all too readily available - and all too heavily promoted.

©2020 Paul A. Offit (P)2020 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Overkill

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  • 05-13-20

fascinating

Excellent information, well written, and researched. Complex ideas were explained in easy terms. Gave compelling arguments against commonly accepted medical practices. I completely enjoyed this very informative and helpful book.

4 people found this helpful

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Easy to understand explanation of medical misuse

Dr Offit’s writing is always excellent. This book continues this tradition. Dr Offit gives a clear and evidence based explanation of things we are doing in modern medicine that we should not be doing. The writing is always clear (unlike most medical writing). The book is interesting all the way through.

3 people found this helpful

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Ignores contrary research

The author ignores a large amount of research that is contrary to his points and conclusions.

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent: Review of medical issues

The best review of medical issues that involve cognitive fallacies and the harm on medical care and cost. From low T, vitamin D, etc. and various other popular myths. I recommend it highly!

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Fantastic, objective, and current

Great book. Audiobook was well-done. Very useful information, and very up-to-date. Perfect for the lay-person interested in healthcare, but I even learned some things from my own specialty that I wasn’t totally clear on.

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Mind Blown

Everyone needs to read this book. This is real science with true, independent, medical research.

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An amazing book with outstanding information!

As a medical professional for the last 20+ years I can safely say that this is an amazing book full of great knowledge. This book should 100% be required reading for every 4th year medical student and every nursing student! The information provides practice changing knowledge that every practitioner needs to hear and understand!

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It will surely make you think!

Offit did not disappoint with this one. Get ready to think about many of the health related decisions we commonly make.

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Excellent Information!

Mind blown. What a wealth of information this book provides. Highly recommend for anyone wishing to understand the background of recommendations we’ve heard all our lives.

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Amazing how powerful marketing is

Threw away my multi vitamins. Was always skeptical but learning about all those trials disproving their efficacy really opened my eyes. You will learn so much about conspiracy theories that are totally contrary to dozens of controlled trials.