Reliable formulas don’t always exist

To the editor:

Luke Hugghins’ “Solving the equation for life’s variables” article in the Jan. 24, 2024 edition of the Fort Dodge Messenger should be required reading in all K-12 schools and universities. His introduction to the scientific method of solving problems also applies to non-engineering problems.

Unfortunately, proven and reliable formulas do not always exist or apply to these non-engineering problems. Finding the correct formulas and identifying the constants can be difficult, and there may be no true constants. Similarly, identifying and quantitating the variables is difficult and may indeed be impossible.

Medical care especially encompasses these facts. Many patient encounters involve this dilemma. Unfortunately, our current health care systems fail to account for and understand this dilemma, leaving both patients and doctors frustrated.

Thank you to all my fellow physicians, past and present, for their efforts in providing the best medical care in a challenging environment.

Drew Sieben, MD (retired)

Fort Dodge


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