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New Gallup Poll Quantifies U.S. Physician Opinions on the Scope of Defensive Medicine Practices
Date:2/19/2010

sive medicine constitutes less than 10 percent of their practice while 29 percent estimate the percentage to be between 10 percent and less than 25 percent.

Physicians indicating they had practiced a form of defensive medicine in the last twelve months attribute 21 percent of their practice to be defensive in nature.

In the study, defensive medicine was defined in this manner:  "Defensive medicine is the practice of diagnostic or therapeutic measures conducted primarily not to ensure the health of the patient, but as a safeguard against possible malpractice liability. This may include tests, prescriptions, hospitalizations and referrals that may not be medically necessary, but are viewed as providing protection from a potential lawsuit."

Jackson Healthcare retained Gallup for the study in an effort to quantify the scope and impact of defensive medicine practices in the U.S.

Results are based on telephone interviews with 462 randomly selected US physicians. Interviews were conducted in December and January.


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