Doctors release list of un-needed treatments

February 22, 2013 1:53:16 PM PST
It used to be doctors telling us all the tests and treatments we have to get. But in recent years there have been new concerns about over-doing it- And the harms of the over-testing. Now Doctors nationwide have just created a surprising list of tests and procedures that you should *not* get- and it's creating controversy.

After years of testing for Vitamin D, new recommendations say don't routinely measure Vitamin D levels that supplements and sun exposure is good enough for most healthy people .

That's one of 130 tests and treatments doctors are now saying you may not need. It's all part of a national campaign called Choosing Wisely, warning about the dangers of over-testing and over-treating.

17 national doctors organizations have just added to the list, with recommendations like: No cold or cough medicines for children younger than 4. They can have potentially serious side effects and offer little benefit.

When it comes to back pain, no x-rays or other imaging or scans within first 6 weeks unless there are signs of a serious nerve problem.

"Every test every treatment has potential harms as well," said Dr. Deborah Korenstein.

Dr. Korenstein is an internist at Mount Sinai Medical Center and she has researched the overuse of health care procedures.

"What these lists are really meant to do is make doctors and patients aware that there are things we shouldn't just routinely do -that we should question," she says.

Also making the list of procedures to question, Early C-Sections.

The guidelines say no c- sections before 39 weeks unless it's medically necessary.

Delivering your baby early raises the risk of learning disabilities and other medical problems and doctors should not routinely prescribe antibiotics for a mild or moderate sinus infection unless the symptoms last more than a week.

But one size does not fit all in medicine, the goal is spark a conversation between doctors and patients about what care is really necessary

"If a doctor says you either do or don't need certain testing) patients should ask why, what am I gonna benefit from this and what are the potential harms from this.


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