Waste Not, Want Not: People Have Stopped Going to the Doctor

“Waste Not Want Not” is a Proverb meaning if you use a commodity or resource carefully and without extravagance, you will never be in need. Maybe this applies to health care. The article eludes to wasteful use of healthcare:

“It is well recognized that a substantial amount of health care in America is wasteful, accounting for hundreds of billions of dollars of the total health care budget.”

            This statement is not far-fetched. I mean, there are many factors; administrative burden, people running to the clinic for evert little hangnail, over testing, etc etc etc. But then, the doctors get blamed. Of course, the evil doctors. It’s all the doctor’s fault:

“Wasteful care is driven by many forces: “defensive” medicine by doctors trying to avoid lawsuits; a reluctance on the part of doctors and patients to accept diagnostic uncertainty (which leads to more tests); the exorbitant prices that American doctors and hospitals charge, at least compared to what is charged in other countries; a lack of consensus about which treatments are effective; and the pervasive belief that newer, more expensive technology is always better.”

            Yep. Let’s blame the doctors. These factors may have some truth in them, but the insinuation is that doctors are bad because of it. Have to love the media rhetoric about how doctors are the cause of the health care ills. Pun intended.

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Robert Duprey MD

Robert is a 2nd career physician (MD); a combat Veteran with the US Army; a former psychiatric nurse practitioner; an independent researcher; a medical writer; and now having passed USMLE Steps 1, 2CK, 2CS, and 3, is a residency applicant.

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3 Responses

  1. Kurt says:

    Needless to say one can do as much medical education as they want with patients but they still go out the door and continue their lousy health behavior. I only need to point to the obesity and diabetes epidemics that exists in this country. Physicians are expected to be nursemaids, secretaries, Guardian Angels and health policeman. Subsequent to that we’re the ones that are held accountable for outcomes whereas the patients are not held accountable for anything. EHR, excessive administrative burden and paperwork, prior authorizations, MOC, CME and testing are the major reasons I have retired a little early. I am sick of it. I believe the word is filtering down to medical students that primary care medicine sucks and that very well is part of the reason why there is a dearth of practitioners. Today is the first day of being free from all this rigamarole and being retired. Going to take me a week to finish up the medical records then I am going to fully enjoy not having a thing to do with medicine anymore.

  2. arthur gindin says:

    …the word is “allude,” not “elude”!

  3. Bill Ameen MD says:

    When I was in practice I always felt that at least half of all visits were unnecessary anyway, but we needed the income in our over-built and over-hired practices. DPC is certainly the way to go if you’re starting out. Right now i’m Just glad not to have to leave the house and to finally have time to go through all the articles I saved since the 1970s! (Pssst, does anybody know that phenformin causes lactic acidosis!?)

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