We all tend to believe stories more than facts. And when faced with the need to make a decision—to start a medication, to have surgery—far more often than not (and mostly without consciously realizing it) we rely on our emotional beliefs about the risks and benefits. And our emotional beliefs come mostly from our experience and the stories we tell ourselves about it. “My wife’s sister’s boyfriend took that pill and had a terrible reaction. There’s no way I’m going to take it!” one patient tells me. “Dr. X operated on a friend of mine and he’s been in pain ever since. No way I’m letting that guy touch me!” says another. “I’ve seen that drug advertised on television. What do you think about me trying that one instead?” a third asks.