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Top Five "Don'ts" For Family Doctors

05/25/11

  01:29:33 pm, by MedBen5   , 208 words,  
Categories: Wellness

Top Five "Don'ts" For Family Doctors

A group of doctors has a few ideas about how fellow members of their profession can improve quality while reducing costs, NPR reports. And better yet, they’ve tested their ideas and offered them up in convenient list form.

The group’s work, organized by the National Physicians Alliance and published by the Archives of Internal Medicine, offers suggestions for several medical professions. The list for family doctors includes five “Don’ts":

  1. No MRI or other imaging tests for low back pain, unless it has persisted longer than six weeks or there are red flags, such as neurological problems.
  2. No antibiotics for a mild to moderate sinus infection, unless it has lasted a week or long. Or the condition worsens after first getting better.
  3. No annual electrocardiograms for low-risk patients without cardiac symptoms.
  4. No Pap tests in patients under 21, or women who’ve had hysterectomies for non-malignant disease.
  5. No bone scans for women under 65 or men under 70, unless they have specific risk factors.

While this advice is aimed at doctors, patients would do well to keep the suggestions in mind as well, as any unnecessary tests and medications are ultimately paid for (at least in part) by the consumer.

Additional Top Five lists for internists and pediatricians are available at Yahoo! Health.

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