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Medicine is a rapidly changing field. New discoveries in basic research continue to uncover the body’s innermost secrets, explaining how it works in health and what goes wrong in disease. New diagnostic techniques allow doctors to recognize abnormalities with more precision than ever before. And a steady stream of new treatments continues to improve the outlook for patients with a broad range of problems.
This progress is wonderful, but many challenges remain and new ones continue to arise. Although the need for further advances is great, sometimes even urgent, science usually progresses in evolutionary stages rather than revolutionary breakthroughs. It’s particularly true of medications; some new drugs are indeed unique and novel, but many are modifications of existing drugs.
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