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Doctors think the other guy often prescribes unnecessary care

NPR / Kaiser Health News, May 2, 2014

Three out of four physicians believe that fellow doctors prescribe an unnecessary test or procedure at least once a week, a survey released Thursday finds. The most frequent reasons that physicians order extraneous — and costly —medical care are fears of being sued, impulses to be extra careful and desires to reassure themselves about their assessments of patients, the survey said. The survey was commissioned for Choosing Wisely, a two-year old campaign devised by a foundation created by internal medicine doctors that has persuaded nearly 60 medical societies to identify overused tests and procedures. The goal is to reduce unnecessary medical care, which by some estimates may waste a third of the $2.8 trillion the country spends on health each year.