45 Medical Tests

April 5, 2012 by staff 

45 Medical Tests, Nine prestigious medical societies are recommending that doctors stop automatically ordering 45 routine tests and treatments.

The physicians groups, which represent 375,000 doctors, hope the new guidelines will begin to change the ethos of American medicine — that more medical care is always better.

The items listed include most repeat colonoscopies within 10 years of a first test, early imaging for most back pain, brain scans for patients who fainted but didn’t have seizures and antibiotics for mild- to-moderate sinus distress.

Also on the list: heart imaging stress tests for patients without coronary symptoms. And a particularly sobering recommendation calls for cancer doctors to stop treating tumors in end-stage patients who have not responded to multiple therapies and are ineligible for experimental treatments.

Dr Christine Cassel, president of the American Board of Internal Medicine, said the goal is to reduce wasteful spending without harming patients. She suggested some may benefit by avoiding known risks associated with medical tests, such as exposure to radiation.

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