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View Diary: US Health Care Unmasked: A true story (122 comments)

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  •  while I mostly agree, consider also (0+ / 0-)

    that for 'family doctors', previously known as G.P.s (general practitioners); a considerable amount of the testing they order is to "rule out" specific conditions.

    Remember, medicine is still as much an art as it is a science, when it comes to determining the diagnosis for any given patient. The physician takes the patient's described symptoms and a physical examination, and goes from there. So, testing is as much to 'rule out' as it is to "confirm" the physician's preliminary (or working) diagnosis.

    This may be seen as "over-testing" to someone who does not know any better.

    "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization" -- me

    by Angie in WA State on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 12:18:20 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  In many cases (0+ / 0-)

      no doubt.  But as a patient, I don't think I needed 50 different things checked when I was obviously presenting with high blood pressure.  I needed medication for the high pressure.  And as a sleep tech, about 50% of our patients came in with a "rule out" order, which ended up in fully 80% of them diagnosed with sleep apnea which was so mild that it would never have caused them any harm EXCEPT that putting them on CPAP involved a second $2000 test night, equipment sales and fitting, and followup every six months for life.  Again, in people with mild to moderate "disease" that there is and was no research justifying treatment for.

      Doctors overtest, overdiagnose, and overprescribe.  No businessman is going to pass up an obvious opportunity for a sale.  And no one is so virtuous, as to lack a bias towards doing what is in his own best interest.

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