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Doctors Agree: They Overtreat

A research study published in PLUS One, concludes that most doctors in the United States believe that overtreatment is not only common, but also can be harmful and wasteful.

Many of us know that to be true but it was rather interesting to us at Theodoros & Rooth to hear that the majority of doctors also recognize this.

According to the study:

“Researchers surveyed 2,106 physicians in various specialties regarding their beliefs about unnecessary medical care. On average, the doctors believed that 20.6 percent of all medical care was unnecessary, including 22 percent of prescriptions, 24.9 percent of tests and 11.1 percent of procedures.

Nearly 85 percent said the reason for overtreatment was fear of malpractice suits, but that fear is probably exaggerated, the authors say. Only 2 to 3 percent of patients pursue litigation, and paid claims have declined sharply in recent decades.

Nearly 60 percent of doctors said patients demand unnecessary treatment. A smaller number thought that limited access to medical records led to the problem.

More than 70 percent of doctors conceded that physicians are more likely to perform unnecessary procedures when they profit from them, while only 9.2 percent said that their own financial security was a factor.”

“This study is essentially the voice of physicians about the problem,” said the senior author, Dr. Martin A. Makary, a professor of surgery at Johns Hopkins. “We’re told that there are too many operations done for narrowed blood vessels in the legs. Spine surgeons say that a quarter of all spine surgery may not be necessary. Half of stents placed may be unnecessary. These are significant opportunities to improve quality and lower costs.”

We at Theodoros & Rooth have decades of experience with malpractice cases. We understand that many medical professionals will treat their patients to make sure every detail is covered. However, when this same category of people also provide unneeded procedures and, especially those treatments that may prove even more harmful to one’s health and well-being, that’s when we get very concerned.

If you have an incident where you believe you have been mistreated by a doctor, nurse or other caregiver, please come and see us. Without charge, we will listen to your story and give you our opinion on whether we believe you have a case. At Theodoros & Rooth, our team of attorneys will aggressively fight for your cause. There is never a charge until we successfully resolve your situation. Contact us today.