Physician Memoir Explores Unnecessary Care, Disillusionment

A newly insured patient receives a checkup on April 15, 2014. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A newly insured patient receives a checkup on April 15, 2014. Joe Raedle/Getty Images

If you’ve ever wondered if the tests your doctor ordered were necessary, you probably aren’t alone. Sandeep Jauhar, a cardiologist at Long Island Jewish Medical Center, noticed the trend as a young doctor working in a teaching hospital. Now, Jauhur has written a widely-noted new memoir about doctors’ growing discontent with the profession, titled “Doctored: The Disillusionment of an American Physician.”

Choosing Wisely, a project of the ABIM Foundation, recently surveyed physicians in America and found the majority of physicians agreed that overuse of certain medical diagnostics and over-treatment is a serious problem. Sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the survey included these findings:

  • 73 percent of physicians say the frequency of unnecessary tests and procedures is a very or somewhat serious problem.
  • 66 percent of physicians feel they have a great deal of responsibility to make sure their patients avoid unnecessary tests and procedures.
  • 53 percent of physicians say that even if they know a medical test is unnecessary, they order it if a patient insists.

Juahur recently spoke to NPR’s Terry Gross:

“American medicine is the best in the world when it comes to providing high-tech care,” he says. “If you have an esoteric disease, you want to be in the United States. God forbid you have Ebola, our academic medical centers are second to none. But if you have run-of-the-mill chronic diseases like congestive heart failure or diabetes, the system is not designed to find you the best possible care. And that’s what has to change.”

You can listen to the full interview here.

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