Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Think for yourself at the doctor's office

Brian Vastag, Washington Post, April 4, 2012, says a passel of doctor’s groups have called for an end to a range of unnecessary tests.

A 2005 National Academy of Sciences study said 30% of spending was wasteful. Of course, as patients, we need to try to decide which 30%.

These doctors listed 45 tests you should question—you can find them at the Choosing Wisely website—

Briefly, they include antibiotics for sinus infections (and certainly for colds).

X-rays for low back pain unless there is some indication of another condition

Stress tests for healthy people.

CT or MRI for fainting when there is no sign of seizure (I have had this twice).

CT scans for appendicitis for kids—ask for ultrasound instead.

Repeat colonoscopies within 10 yrs.

Scans for spread of east prostate and breast cancers if the tumors are low grade.

Go look at the list. Ask the doctor. Think of the money, the copays, the waiting, the annoyance. Make a decision!

I should probably be going to the cardiologist—but everything they told me to do in the past made me worse or caused a worse problem. I am not compliant now.

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