Analysis: Physicians Worried About Lawsuits Tend To Order Extra Diagnostic Tests

Reuters: Fearful Doctors May Order Too Many Tests
Doctors who are the most worried about malpractice suits are more likely than less fearful colleagues to order extra diagnostic tests and refer patients to emergency rooms, even if the real threat of a lawsuit is low, according to a new U.S. study. The practice of so-called defensive medicine "is one of those things that everyone knows goes on, but doesn't know how to control," said Michelle Mello, senior author of the new analysis and a professor of law and public health at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston (Kulkarni, 8/14).

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