As I went through the line and took off my shoes, yet again demonstrating that my footwear has no potential for dangerous, rapid expansion under high heat and pressure, I began to wonder. We in medicine are expected to demonstrate at least some benefit of the things we do to our patients. The government wants to have comparative effectiveness data to see what works and what doesn’t, and what needs to continue being reimbursed. I’m not sure that’s always a good idea, but it is what it is. So let me ask, ‘how many shoe bombers have we now caught, except for the first one?’ Is there data? Is there any suggestion that the enormous slow-down of the security lines that results from shoe removal and re-application causes any improvement in security? Isn’t it ironic that the government wants us to cut costs on unnecessary procedures, even as we have no real idea if all of the gesticulations we endure in airports have any bearing on our safety?
Yes ... NNT, or Number Needed to Treat, the gold standard of effectiveness in medicine. Why aren't they doing it for security measures?