Forty-five tests and procedures routinely performed on patients are often unnecessary, according to a new report by nine physician groups, the Consumers Union, and the American Board Of Internal Medicine Foundation.
As medical testing has become more and more sophisticated and often touted in advertisements, patients have begun to request and expect tests that many not always be needed.
The groups looked at the scientific rational for performing each of the tests and procedures listed in the report. According to the doctors, here are four things you often do not need:
Antibiotics for a routine sinus infection. The majority of these infections are caused by viruses, so antibiotics won't work.
- repeat colorectal cancer screening. Beginning at age 50, one high-quality colonoscopy every 10 years is all you need if your results are normal.
- a stress test at your annual checkup. This isn't needed if you're a healthy adult without cardiac symptoms
- and a back scan within the first six weeks of lower back pain - try physical therapy first.
You can find the complete list at the Choosing Wisely web site. Before getting a test it's important to have a discussion with your doctor to find out if it's really necessary.
(Andy Rose for CNN's Health Minute)