August 13, 2012

WHICH IS WHY "HEALTH CARE" COSTS SHOULD COME OUT OF YOUR OWN POCKET:

You could be sick ...    ... but probably not  (Chicago Tribune, August 13, 2012)

"Worried well" is the term for people who spend too much time visiting the doctor and obsessing about their health even though there's nothing physically wrong with them.

Who can blame them? Doctors issue ever-evolving and often confusing advice on when, and if, screenings for various illnesses -- most recently prostate cancer -- are necessary. Even the annual physical exam is under fire because it often leads to tests that are useless or even harmful because they can prompt unnecessary follow-up procedures.

Yet public health officials extol more screenings and tests as a way to avoid illness.

Result: Untold billions of dollars are wasted every year by Americans for unnecessary scans, biopsies and tests. Not to mention all that anxiety waiting for the doctor's call with your test results.

Why are so many Americans well but worried? Because they're "encouraged to think like hypochondriacs" says Catherine Belling, a Northwestern University medical school professor who wrote a just-released book, "A Condition of Doubt: The Meanings of Hypochondria."

Belling blames "a public health culture of early detection and disease awareness that encourages us to think that we may well be sick even if we feel completely fine and have no symptoms."

Posted by at August 13, 2012 2:02 PM
  

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