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Fear of Lawsuits May Be Leading to Extra Medical Tests
Date:2/15/2011

We found that -- in Pennsylvania at least -- a surgeon's defensive nature gets worse over time," Flynn said. "In this legal environment, orthopedic surgeons order more imaging tests of a defensive nature because, over time, they become more concerned that someone is going to second-guess or sue them."

Flynn suggested that expanding the survey to other medical specialties, such as obstetrics/gynecology, neurosurgery and emergency medicine, would give a more complete picture of "how much of our nation's healthcare resources are wasted on defensive medicine."

More information

The U.S. National Institutes of Health has more about diagnostic imaging.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, news release, Feb. 15, 2011


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