Medical Tests - What You Should Know

What is the effect of unnecessary medical tests? - One study showed that only 5 percent of all lab tests actually results in altered patient care or had any impact on a patient’s diagnosis or treatment. Some studies show that some doctors never look at the reported results of medical tests after they have been recorded on the patient’s hospital chart.

A major effect of unnecessary medical tests is the increased cost of medical care by hundreds of billions of dollars a year. If you have health insurance, you probably think it’s not costing you anything, so why not have the test? The answer is employer’s payments for workers’ health care are reflected in the cost of testing. So, in reality, you are paying for the tests, even though they seem to be free.

What is iatrogenic disease? - Iatrogenic disease means the cause of the disease or suffering came directly from the health care practitioner’s actions or words, not from any germ, improper living, or genetic defect. The actions could be unnecessary surgery, ordering the wrong drug or the wrong dosage of the drug, or giving improper counsel.

For every 7 medical tests you have, you will receive at least one false-positive result, indicating the presence of a condition or disease when none exists.

Invasive vs. noninvasive medical tests - Invasive tests penetrate the skin or body orifices (openings). It’s always more risky to have an invasive medical test. If your health care practitioner orders one, ask if you can have a noninvasive test instead.

An invasive test itself is sufficient to produce a false-abnormal test result where no abnormality exists. This is strong evidence for choosing noninvasive tests.

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