Ethics in Medicine

No More Physicals?

Kristen Sparrow • June 04, 2012

We’ve discussed the Less Is More trend in traditional medicine over the last year.  I have a sort of synopsis in this newsletter, with links though I’ve written numerous posts on the topic.
June 2, 2012
Let’s (Not) Get Physicals
FOR decades, scientific research has shown that annual physical exams — and many of the screening tests that routinely accompany them — are in many ways pointless or (worse) dangerous, because they can lead to unneeded procedures. The last few years have produced a steady stream of new evidence against the utility of popular tests:..
So why do Americans, nearly alone on the planet, remain so devoted to the ritual physical exam and to all of these tests, and why do so many doctors continue to provide them? Indeed, the last decade has seen a boom in what hospitals and health care companies call “executive physicals” — batteries of screening exams for apparently healthy people, purporting to ferret out hidden disease with the zeal of Homeland Security officers searching for terrorists…