Tags: doctor | advice | question

When to Question Doctor's Advice

Tuesday, 08 May 2012 12:10 PM

Have you ever wondered if you really need a particular procedure your doctor is recommending? Consumer Reports has identified five leading examples of when you should challenge your doctor and, in the magazine’s words, “Just say whoa!”
The procedures – outlined in the magazine’s June issue -- include EKGs and exercise stress tests, imaging tests for lower-back pain, CT scans and MRIs for headaches, bone density scans for low-risk women, and antibiotics for sinusitis. All are performed routinely for large numbers of patients.
Consumer reports editors said patients shouldn’t always refuse such tests, but ask: “Hey, doc, do I really need that?”
The list was compiled as part of the “Choosing Wisely” campaign launched in April by the magazine, involving a coalition of nine physician groups. The magazine’s editors noted it’s been estimated that up to 30 percent of health care is unnecessary.
Dr. John Santa, director of the Consumer Reports Health Ratings Center, said the list was compiled to “help consumers start having those conversations with their doctors” about certain procedures that may be unnecessary.
For example, EKGs and exercise stress tests are important for people who have symptoms of heart disease, but not for otherwise healthy people. Imaging tests for routine lower-back pain rarely lead to better care. CT scans and MRIs for headaches are not better than a thorough neurological exam. Bone density scans for low-risk women are usually unwarranted. And antibiotics are often prescribed for sinusitis despite the fact that the cause is often viral and antibiotics don’t work against viruses.

© HealthDay

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Health experts identify five examples of when you should challenge your doctor's recommendations.
Tuesday, 08 May 2012 12:10 PM
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