Defensive Medicine Truly Exists, Idiot


In a recent edition of the Family Practice News, Dr. William G. Wilkoff explains why defensive medicine needs to be accounted for.  He summarizes the bogus studies which showed that states that enacted reforms have experienced a 2%-5% reduction in health care spending. What is interesting is that the authors of one of these often-cited studies devaluing defensive medicine have recently rethought their position. They even wrote in the WJS that “even in reform states, doctors continue to practice defensive medicine. The changes in the malpractice system have done little to change physicians’ perceptions of the risk of being sued.” Professors Chandra, Jena, and Seabury postulate that malpractice reforms have done little to influence the defensive behavior of physicians because most reforms have focused on “restricting the size of damages without necessarily targeting the frequency of malpractice claims.” Wilkoff thinks those researchers “have done us a great service by acknowledging that their original work may have resulted in flawed conclusions.”  Hardly.  Nothing will change.  There are no fixes in the Affordable Care Act to cut back on litigation.  There is no tort reform.   Until these authors somehow extort the lawyer lobby, two-thirds of all physicians will continue to practicing defensive medicine.  And the cost of healthcare will continue to be sky high.

Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  2 comments for “Defensive Medicine Truly Exists, Idiot

  1. Kurt
    June 12, 2013 at 4:17 pm

    Agreed with masturbation but there is another thing the affordable care act doesn’t take into account. Personal Responsibility. I’ve advised, educated, cajoled and cussed people to try to get them to change their shitty health habits and have not made a dent. Oh some listen but the fair majority pay lip service and go on their way to taking 80mg of atorvastatin so they can eat shit. I advise all students to get a billable set of skills and stay away from FP/primary care.
    Like it or not the NP’s are going to take over. Not to mention that the education fund no longer covers the bullshit CME one needs for this MOC crap.

  2. Ken
    June 10, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    My best guess is 100% of physicians practice defensive medicine. It is like masturbation, not everyone admits to it, but everyone does it.

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