Is your cardiac specialist eager to feed your hypochondria by rushing you in for heart-stress testing at the slightest indication of discomfort? Does the oncologist screening your dad for low-risk prostate cancer seem a little too eager to perform a radionuclide bone scan? Does your family physician hand out antibiotics like Tic-Tacs to anyone with the sniffles?
These are just three of 90 medical procedures identified as being potentially superfluous, or even harmful, by a cluster of medical societies representing more than 500,000 U.S. health care professionals
The updated list, released Thursday by the American Board of Internal Medicine and Consumer Reports as part of their Choosing Widely campaign to promote better dialogue between physicians and patients. The goal of the progam is to help those seeking treatment to ask better questions from those administering it.
Seventeen medical groups representing a broad spectrum of specialties participated in creating the list of commonly overprescribed tests, procedures and prescriptions.
Another list will be issued later this year with feedback from several other medical groups.