unnecessary medical treatments

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Doctors Name Treatments That Bring Little or No Benefit

Staff Writer | BBC | October 24, 2016

Women over 45 do not need a blood test to diagnose the menopause and X-rays are no real help to those with lower back pain, doctors have said. The advice, drawn up by the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges, features on a list of 40 treatments that bring little or no benefit to patients. The list is part of a campaign to reduce the number of unnecessary medical treatments. Patients are also encouraged to ask more questions about procedures. Medical experts from 11 different specialties were asked to identify five treatments or procedures commonly used in their field that were not always necessary or valuable...

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Practicing in an Age of Uncertainty

If you've ever had a hard time trying to decide what's best for your health (e.g., Sorry, There's Nothing Magical About Breakfast), perhaps you can take comfort in the fact that physicians often aren't so sure either. Or perhaps not. A new study in Annals of Surgery, and nicely reported on  by Julia Belluz in Vox, focused on surgical uncertainty.  The researchers sent four detailed clinical vignettes to a national sample of surgeons, seeking to get their assessment on the risks/benefits of operative and non-operative treatment, as well as their recommendations. You'd like to think there was good consensus on what to do, but that was not the case...