A new study has found that doctors often prescribe treatments which are not required, and potentially harmful according to a paper which was published on JAMA. This paper touched on the effects of medical overuse and its prevalence in the current medical industry after studying about a year of data.
A new study found that doctors have often provided treatments which are not required to patients
In the study, many examples of medical overuse came up, and showed sometimes how unaware some doctors can be in prescribing treatments. Take note that treatments usually come with significant costs as well, and could be an inherent reason for why treatments are sometimes carelessly introduced too!
Some examples covered in the study include:
- Patients often experience higher risk from being impotent or incontinent due to the treatments administered by doctors for an illness such as early-stage prostrate Cancer. No differences in survival rates were found after studying 1,643 patients.
- Knee treatments (usually surgery) for meniscal tears generated outcomes very similar to patients who experienced placebo. In fact, the act of cutting the knee open without concrete benefits is a rampant practice, and is a multi billion dollar market.
- The rise in requests for CT scans in emergency rooms even for some flu like symptoms is another example of doctors abusing the system for potential gains. While the case for erring on the side of caution is usually recommended, it has to be balanced with the medical costs patients have to bear too.
As patients who are paying doctors, you are king, not the doctors
One very clear message I always tell my friends and family members is that doctors are merchants and vendors, we are paying them for their services and they are expected to deliver high quality, especially because they are so expensive. However, some doctors are not able to relate to their patients in an empathetic fashion, and can sometimes be rather traumatic for uninformed individuals.
Doctors are there to give us advice, the way consultants do as well. While there are times their advice might make sense, we as paying customers have to be able to differentiate the fluff from the facts. Information is out there, and I have seen doctors googling for answers during consultations as well.
This paper validated some hypothesis about our vision, and hopefully we will be able to change that in the future.