'Epidemic of overtreatment' starts in medical school, educators say

The medical education system functions on the principle that the more medical procedures physicians do, the more prepared they will be to practice independently. This mindset often continues into physicians' careers, which contributes to what some medical educators call "an epidemic of overtreatment," according to NPR.

Excessive medical tests or treatments drive up national healthcare spending and subject patients to unnecessary anxiety or risks from unneeded procedures, Mara Gordon, MD, a family physician in Washington, D.C., and media fellow, wrote for NPR.

To combat this issue, some medical educators are calling for new educational approaches to encourage more judicious use of tests and treatments.

For example, a group of medical professors at Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins Hospital are providing residents with real-time data on how they compare to peers in terms of unnecessary testing. The professors said they hope these personalized reports will encourage more thoughtful use of tests and procedures among residents.

To view NPR's full story, click here.

More articles on physician issues:
Patient complications take a toll on surgeons, study finds
Physician mothers do more housework than spouses, study finds
Washington University to offer free tuition for some incoming med students

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