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How To Avoid Bad Medical Advice: A Basic Guideline

Posted by Jerry De Luca on Wednesday, May 25, 2016


A 21st Century conundrum – questions there doesn’t seem to be a simple answer to: 

“Why do we use evidence every day when shopping, traveling, or buying houses but never ask for the same evidence when our doctors make a recommendation?” 

“Why don’t we demand evidence when other experts make important claims about our health or environment?”

Before we attempt a response, let’s look at 5 Reasons Why You Might Not Get The Best Healthcare. Then we’ll meet a doctor whose personal mission it is to provide a solution.

Reason 1: Outdated Information. Depending on when your doctor attended medical school or residency, it is possible that some of their instincts, prescriptions, and techniques are now outdated or inappropriate.  Thousands of new studies are published every year, and thousands of older studies are still relevant. Evidence is growing exponentially and it is impossible to keep up with everything.

Reason 2: Defensive Medicine.  This is when doctors order unnecessary tests and treatments to stay out of court. “Defensive medicine occurs when doctors order tests, procedures, or visits, or avoid high-risk patients or procedures, primarily (but not necessarily or solely) to reduce their exposure to malpractice liability. When physicians do extra tests or procedures primarily to reduce malpractice liability, they are practicing positive defensive medicine. When they avoid certain patients or procedures, they are practicing negative defensive medicine.”

Reason 3: Insurance Companies– One of those necessary evils of our American healthcare system.  Insurance Companies are a business and like any business they must control costs. Insurance companies can force your doctor to follow practice management guidelines that dictate which tests, treatments, and specialists they can and can’t order for you.  Conversely, your doctor might order what they consider to be the best treatment for you but this “best” treatment isn’t covered by your Insurance Plan, and your doctor is helpless to change this denial.

Reason 4: Specialist Recommendation.  This one is simple.   If you see a surgeon, they are going to recommend surgery.  If you see a radiation oncologist, they are going to recommend radiation.  How do you make sure that you are getting the best treatment recommendation as opposed to their “favorite” recommendation? Look at the evidence to see which is the most effective treatment for you before succumbing to a Specialists’ recommendation.

Reason 5 is Instinct.  Depending on your doctor’s experiences they will be recommending treatments to you based on their instinct.  Which might be spot on!  But it may not….  Why take the chance?  SHOW ME THE EVIDENCE!   

Can We Trust the Popular Health Magazine Claims?

Consequences of Careless Medicine 


How to evaluate “scientific” studies and bogus claims    

Music Video: Viva La Evidence          
“I hear the evidence bells a ringing, Systematic reviews are singing …. For some reason I can’t explain, Clinical studies are in my brain.”

Research Using PubMed

PubMed comprises over 25 million citations for biomedical literature from MEDLINE, life science journals, and online books. PubMed citations and abstracts include the fields of biomedicine and health, covering portions of the life sciences, behavioral sciences, chemical sciences, and bioengineering. PubMed also provides access to additional relevant web sites and links to the other NCBI molecular biology resources.

PubMed is a free resource that is developed and maintained by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), at the U.S. National Library of Medicine (NLM), located at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Just A Few Medical Second Opinion Sources

5 Reasons Why You Might Not Get The Best Healthcare  http://showmetheevidence.com/2014/09/5-reasons-dont-get-best-care/

Jerry De Luca is a Christian freelance writer who loves perusing dozens of interesting and informative publications. When he finds any useful info he summarizes it, taking the main points, and creates a (hopefully) helpful blog post.


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