Patients Beware: Medical Groups Release Latest List Of Procedures That Could Be Useless, If Not Harmful

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By Angelo Young | February 22, 2013 10:00 PM EST

Is your cardiac specialist eager to feed your hypochondria by rushing you in for heart-stress testing at the slightest indication of discomfort? Does the oncologist screening your pop for low-risk prostate cancer a little too eager to perform a radionuclide bone scan? Does your family physician hand out antibiotics like Tic-Tacs to anyone with the sniffles?

These are just three of 90 medical procedures identified by a cluster of medical societies representing over 500,000 U.S. health care professionals as being potentially superfluous, or even harmful.

The updated list, released Thursday by the American Board of Internal Medicine as part of its Choosing Widely campaign with Consumer Reports to promote better dialogue between physician and patient in order to help those seeking treatment ask better questions of those administering it.  

Seventeen medical groups representing a broad spectrum of specialties participated in putting together the list of commonly overprescribed tests, procedures and prescriptions.

Another list will be issued later this year with feedback from seve3ral other medical groups.

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