10 reasons why doctors over-order tests

by Neel Shah, MD

What are the top reasons doctors over-order tests?

1. How we’re taught
. Doctors are taught to consider whether a procedure is safe and whether it’s likely to work. We’re almost never taught to consider cost — it’s considered taboo.

2. Trying to do our best for the patient
. We’re worried. Often we over-order because of our personal risk aversion.

3. Pre-emptive ordering. For residents, who do much of …

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Does the DSM-5 medicalize normal behavior?

by John Gever

Just about everyone catches colds, and just about everyone who gets one is able to go to work and cook their meals, and they nearly always recover within a few days whether or not they take anything for it. That’s normal.

So, is the advice to take aspirin “medicalizing normal behavior”? Are drug companies that market decongestants and fever reducers “medicalizing normal behavior”?

The answer …

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Root beer bonds a chemotherapy patient with his oncologist

by Krupali Tejura, MD

I am treating a patient for head and neck cancer — which can be one of the most harrowing therapies.

To receive chemotherapy and radiation concurrently can be pretty debilitating. Swallowing foods can be next to impossible, and the taste changes and saliva changes are brutal. It’s one of the harshest areas to treat … and I warn the patients beforehand: …

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Video games are linked with attention problems in children

by Michael Smith

It’s not just TV — video games are also associated with an increased risk of attention problems in children, researchers said.

A large study found that children who spent more than three hours in front of a computer or television screen — whether playing video games or watching TV — were significantly more likely to have attention problems, according to Edward Swing, MS, of Iowa State University in Ames, …

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Echocardiogram reading by cardiologists needs to improve

by Crystal Phend

Insufficient training among cardiologists in reading echocardiography results is wasting healthcare dollars and subjecting patients to unnecessary procedures, researchers said.

A review by sonographers of cardiologist-interpreted echocardiography findings at a Milwaukee medical center during a period of just over a year indicated major discrepancies in 29% of cases, leading to unnecessary further diagnostic testing or treatments for the wrong indication, according to a study presented here at the American …

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