But he really didn't mean to write this, did he?
However, the sheer abundance [of knowledge taught in medical school] crowds out an important—in fact, the only—skill that matters in treating a patient: how to critically appraise published clinical trials.The only skill that matters? How about:
1. talking to the patient (not trivial!)
2. eliciting the patient's wishes and preferences
3. diagnosis (including the use of diagnostic tests)
4. elucidating the treatment options and formulating a question
5. judging what the best evidence is for the particular clinical question
6. applying the best evidence to the clinical question
7. discussing treatment options with the patient
8. ensuring patient compliance/adherence/agreement/cooperation/investment
Pediatrics (the author's specialty) can't be that different!