Dr Greg Brown

Dr Greg Brown is a Brit-turned-Kiwi, who is privileged to call Wellington home. Originally trained as a GP, he is now a Medical Officer with the New Zealand Defence Force, and is currently responsible for deployed health operations. He was a founding member of AHSNZ, and has spoken at previous regional conferences (being unfortunately deployed overseas during the last Symposium). He is married with three charming, short-sighted children. He has a bachelor’s degree in history and enjoys the interface between medicine and philosophy. In his limited spare time, he enjoys playing a few musical instruments, doing DIY, walking in the Wellington hills, and caffeinating himself into atrial fibrillation.

PRESENTATION: Heretics and Orthodoxy: Medical groupthink, the new Inquisition and a plea for Reformation

Why do some professional groups, particularly doctors, seem to be so resistant to change? In this more philosophical exploration, and drawing analogies from the persecution of heretics by the established church in the early modern period, we will examine the factors which seek to maintain consensus amongst medical professionals. In considering medical groupthink, the rise of evidence-based medicine as the doctrinal creed of the profession, and the censure of those who dare to disagree, we will endeavour to come to a better understanding of where the profession’s centre of gravity lies, and hence how change may be effected.


  • Understand something of the way evidence-based medicine works in practice, where the flaws are, and how medical guidelines are produced
  • Be better equipped to influence the professionals you may interact with