September 19, 2014

AREN'T THE SORTS OF MEN WHO READ MEN'S JOURNAL THE PROBLEM?:

When to Say No to Your Doctor (JOSEPH HOOPER, Oct 2014, Men's Journal)

It's been a couple of years, so you decide to see your primary-care physician for a physical.

You feel fine, but it's the responsible thing to do. You get your blood pressure measured and your blood drawn. Within a few days you'll get the lab report that will give you the readout on the amount of cholesterol and sugar in your blood. (This drill is so routine that you and your doctor don't even discuss the implications of a possible bad test result.) If you've entered your middle years, he'll probably ask if you want the lab to test your blood for PSA, a screening test that can tell you if you're at an elevated risk for prostate cancer.

You figure it's probably good to get out in front of these things, so you nod yes. Insurance covers it anyway.

Congratulations - you've just stepped onto a conveyor belt pulling you into a broken system that delivers disappointing results at ever-increasing cost. To wit: The United States spends roughly twice as much per capita as most of the nations of Western Europe, whose citizens on average outlive us by a couple of years. Our own national Institute of Medicine says we waste $210 billion annually on treatments of no or marginal benefit. In a study last year, researchers from the Mayo Clinic went through 10 years of the New England Journal of Medicine, from 2001 through 2010. Of the established tests and procedures reevaluated in studies in the journal, 40 percent were found to be worthless.

Posted by at September 19, 2014 5:48 PM
  

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