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Physician Groups Call for Fewer Medical Tests
Date:4/4/2012

WEDNESDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- Nine physician specialty groups have created lists of common tests or procedures that they believe are often overused or unnecessary, to help doctors and patients make wiser decisions about care.

Each group came up with a list with five tests or procedures in their respective fields. The lists were released Wednesday as part of the ABIM Foundation's Choosing Wisely campaign.

The lists of "Five Things Physicians and Patients Should Question" are meant to help patients receive the most appropriate, evidenced-based care for their individual situations.

Here are some examples:

  • Most patients who faint do not require brain imaging scans such as CT or MRI. Research has shown that when there is no evidence of seizure or other neurologic symptoms, brain scans do not improve patient outcomes. -- American College of Physicians
  • Healthy patients without cardiac symptoms do not need to undergo stress imaging tests as part of their yearly checkups. In this group of people, these tests rarely lead to any meaningful change in patient management. -- American College of Cardiology
  • Patients who have an unremarkable medical history and physical exam don't need to have a chest X-ray before going into outpatient surgery. In most cases, X-rays won't change patient management and have not been shown to improve patient outcomes. -- American College of Radiology
  • Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) should not be used to screen for osteoporosis in women under 65 and men under 70. Research has shown DEXA scans are not helpful in patients in this age group with no osteoporosis risk factors. -- American Academy of Family Physicians
  • Dialysis patients who have limited life expectancies and no signs or symptoms of cancer should not get routine cancer-screening tests. These tests do not improve survival in this group of patients and can result in a false positive diagnos
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