The fear of diagnosis failure a particular medical condition may lead doctors to overly prescribe certain treatment or medications. Though ultimately doctors should have sufficient training and expertise to need not worry about such concerns, the large number of medical malpractice cases filed in Pennsylvania and elsewhere indicates this is not always the situation.
Seeing that any sort of medical procedure will lead to a certain number of mistakes, the more procedures performed the greater the number of errors that will occur. Doctors will also order a large number of tests and imaging such as EKGs for patients with no symptoms of heart trouble, subject the patient to a large number of x-rays, and prescribe antibiotics as soon as cold or flu symptoms happen to arise.
Patients can be proactive in preventing such overtreatment from occurring simply by being straight up with their doctor when discussing their medical needs. Communication has always been a key to preventing mistakes from occurring to begin with.
Now obviously doctors should be the ones that foster an environment between doctor and patient. Attorneys have often noted that lawsuits due to medical mistakes could have been prevented if the doctor had just been more open with their patient concerning their options.
Medical treatment must be taken on a case by case basis. Just because certain procedures may be appropriate in one circumstance does not mean that such procedures will be appropriate in every situation. Doctors are now finally getting together to discuss which procedures are being overused in the hopes that such overuse can be corrected.
Source: timesunion.com, "5 questions you should ask to avoid overtreatment," May 4, 2012