Let’s hope that breast cancer breakthrough metastasizes across the medical profession. Here’s what it accomplished.
- It spares women from unnecessary surgery.
- It saves money.
- It demonstrates that physicians and medical professionals can serve the public interest.
- It gives hope that all medical specialties will critically evaluate and justify the tests and treatments that we recommend to our patients.
When it comes to breasts
There’s a tug of war
Some want less
And some want more.
Every practicing physician, medical educator and researcher should examine their own practices and medical advice. On what basis do we recommend our treatments? Do we do so because we were taught these practices in our training years ago? Is it from habit or adhering to the community standard? Is it because patients have such a high expectation of a medical intervention that we feel obligated to act?
Can anyone argue that patients are subjected to too much/many
- Cardiac stents
- CAT scans and their imaging cousins
Weeks ago, I reviewed an outstanding book called Overtreated, which I would mandate every medical student and physician to read as a requirement for maintaining their licensure. This theme is the thread that winds itself through the Whistleblower blog, to the delight of some, and the consternation of others.
If this recent breast cancer message caught fire, medical quality would be launched into the stratosphere. Then, true medical quality would be out of reach of the bureaucratic bean counters and pay-for-performance charlatans who champion medical quality as they proceed to dismantle it.
Let’s hope that this breast cancer study will become the mother’s milk of medicine.