In 1999 upwards of 98,000 Americans died because of medical errors, a number that may have doubled by this time. Now CNN chief medical correspondent Sanjay Gupta is blaming many of those medical errors on doctors who are willing to over treat their patients.
According to Gupta doctors are now practicing “defensive medicine” by conducting more tests and procedures, providing more tests in the US than anywhere else in the world, including other developed countries.
Gupta argues that many doctors prescript too many tests followed by unnecessary procedures and prescriptions.
The problem is that tests can cause false positives and many doctors then fail to confirm their tests, in turn leading to unnecessary procedures and prescriptions which can cause health related problems and even death.
Gupta writes in an op-ed piece:
Defensive medicine is “meant less to protect the patient than to protect the doctor or hospital against potential lawsuits.:”
While many hospitals have checklists, hospital policies and even software that checks for conflicting prescriptions and other problems associated with over prescribing the decision to take multiple prescriptions ultimately
As for the future Gupta seems optimistic as we learn from the past:
“The only thing we can do is learn each time one happens, and reduce future errors in the process.”
If you are worried about the possibility of being over diagnosed you can read Gupta’s full column here.
Are you worried about your doctor misdiagnosing you and providing unnecessary procedures or prescription medicines?
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