Too Much Medical Care?
An interesting survey published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that almost half (42%) of primary care medical doctors believe that their patients are receiving too much care. When asked why they practiced more aggressively, the medical physicians said “malpractice concerns (76%), clinical performance measures (52%), and inadequate time to spend with patients (40%)” were some of the reasons.
Almost two-thirds of physicians (62%) admitted that “financial incentives encourage aggressive practice” and that “diagnostic testing would be reduced if it did not generate revenue for medical subspecialists.” In addition, “almost all physicians (95%) believe that physicians vary in what they would do for identical patients.” This further brings into question the motivations behind the varying treatments.
Overutilization can add considerable costs to the already excessive health care expenses in the U.S. But it also has the potential to actually cause harm to patients. Excessive imaging can expose patients to harmful radiation. Other forms of test have their own risks. Every drug has side effects.
Your first choice for care should always be your doctor of chiropractic. If you do see a medical provider, you will want to insure that you are presented with all treatment options, particularly those that do not involve drugs or surgery. Remember that you must approve all tests and care provided. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, particularly if you feel you are being over-treated.