Could Going To The Doctor’s Be Dangerous?

June 15, 2012 in Daily Bulletin

Elisabeth Rosenthal, a medical doctor, writes that most experts believe that Americans do not need to get all of the medical checks and treatments that they do. The annual physical, for example is considered by some to be potentially dangerous. So why do Americans continue to get these tests then?

  • In the insurance system the patients aren’t responsible for all of their medical bills. There is therefore a ‘more is better’ mentality on the patient’s side.
  • Doctors, of course, make more money the more work they do, and so they too have an incentive to order more tests than are necessary.
  • Drug makers are allowed to market their products directly to consumers, increasing demand for them.
  • There are fears of malpractice lawsuits that cause doctors to over-proscribe tests.
  • A lot of tests are developed – and then conducted – by specialists. However those tests often don’t hold up under the scrutiny of other medical professionals.
  • Doctors may also proscribe tests because patients expect them or ask for them, and they don’t want to say no.
  • However such tests can be dangerous. Certain aliments can be diagnosed causing the initiation of complicated procedures when it may have healed better by itself.

To read much more including what tests you probably take that professionals recommend you shouldn’t – or at least not as often – as well as why it’s dangerous to undergo too many tests, the financial motives involved, the organization that is trying to solve the problem, statistics related to health care spending in the United States, what health care professionals should actually do, and the path forwards, click here.

Source: The New York Times

Via: Kapil Gupta