Doctors routinely order needless tests and procedures
By Elizabeth Walling
Do you ever go to the doctor and feel their poking and prodding is just a little over the top? Patients often wonder if they really need to be bombarded with a slew of tests at the doctor's office, and a panel of medical professionals says they are absolutely right: many tests are unnecessary and may actually put you at risk.
Nine medical specialty groups (including the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American College of Cardiology) identified a total of 45 procedures and tests they believed are performed far more than is necessary or beneficial in low-risk patients.
Items on the list of unnecessary procedures includes things like:
- Routine chest x-rays in low risk patients
- Antibiotics for mild to moderate sinus infections
- Stress tests or treadmill tests in individuals at a low risk for heart problems
- MRI imaging for patients with lower back pain
- Repeat colonoscopies in low risk patients
The panel urges doctors to stop the overuse of these procedures, and encourages patients to question doctors about their need for certain tests and procedures.Unnecessary procedures waste your money and risk your health
Why all the unnecessary tests? Doctors are eager to pile on the tests and procedures for two reasons: to avoid potential lawsuits and to boost their profits. This, however, is blatantly ignoring both fiscal responsibility and patient welfare.
All tests and procedures carry some risk to the patient. There is a definite cause for concern about over prescription of antibiotics, and side effects of MRI imaging or x-rays, for example. These procedures and medications should not be doled out like candy just to line the pockets of the medical community.
And in a world where healthcare cost is a top issue of concern for many people, the last thing we need to do is throw money at unnecessary (and potentially risky) tests.
In the words of Christine Cassel, president of the American Board of Internal Medicine: "We all know we are paying too much on health care. If we can cut some of our costs, then we can have enough resources to provide health care for those who need it."Sources for this article include:http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/04/health/doctor-panels-urge-fewer-routine-tests.htmlhttp://www.usatoday.com/news/health/story/2012-04-03/unnecessary-medical-tests-treatments/53980090/1http://healthland.time.com/2012/04/05/physicians-groups-call-for-fewer-tests-for-patients/http://choosingwisely.org/?page_idAbout the author:
Elizabeth Walling is a freelance writer specializing in health and family nutrition. She is a strong believer in natural living as a way to improve health and prevent modern disease. She enjoys thinking outside of the box and challenging common myths about health and wellness. You can visit her blog to learn more:http://www.livingthenourishedlife.com/2009/10/welcome.html