Doctor’s tests (and meds) you don’t need

Dr. Diana Sarmiento, The Blogging Doc

With the cost of gasoline and basic commodities skyrocketing, what's to stop the medical care system from increasing their rates too?

However, higher doctor’s fees shouldn’t mean putting your health at risk by skipping your regular check-up in a bid to save money.

Instead, the answer may lie in foregoing diagnostic tests that are unlikely to aid in the treatment of your condition.

Some tests can cause harm

In the U.S., an initiative called Choosing Wisely has been launched by an American medical foundation to encourage doctors and patients “to think and talk about medical tests and procedures that may be unnecessary, and in some instances can cause harm.”

It also encourages physicians to use evidence-based medicine in treating their patients.

Heeding the call are nine medical societies which compiled their list of "Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question" in an effort to make the patient avoid unnecessary and very often, costly, diagnostic tests.

For example, radiologists have been cautioned to avoid routine x-rays for patients checking into hospitals with a normal or “unremarkable” history and physical exam.

Overuse of CT scans and antibiotics

Also common among other groups like oncologists, family physicians and cardiologists and others are warnings against the overuse of CT scans and antibiotics.

Often, doctors choose to "over" prescribe lab tests for fear of missing out on a serious disease that the patient might have and avoiding the prospect of being sued for malpractice.

Evidence-based medicine, backed by several, large population studies, is the answer.

Decisions and choices that are supported by academicians and researchers who are the authorities in their field of specialty will give both the doctor and the patient peace of mind that they are taking the right course of action.

5 things to question

To find out the "Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question" from nine medical societies, click on the following links:

American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology
American Academy of Family Physicians
American College of Cardiology
American College of Physicians
American College of Radiology
American Gastroenterological Association
American Society of Clinical Oncology
American Society of Nephrology
American Society of Nuclear Cardiology

Read more from the author:
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How a bicycle handlebar affects the female orgasm
How to prevent illness from ruining your vacation

Have a medical question for the Blogging Doc? Drop her a line at

Dr. Diana Sarmiento is a mother of three, part-time doctor, and a full-time wife and mother. The topics closest to her heart are women’s health, parenting, and any new information that she can get her hands on.