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Too many tests?


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Too much cancer screening, too many heart tests, too many cesarean sections. A spate of recent reports s u g ge s t t h a t t o o ma ny Americans — maybe even President Barack Obama — are being overtreated. Is it doctors practicing defensive medicine? Or are patients so accustomed to a culture of medical technology that they insist on extensive tests and treatments? A combination of both is at work, but now new evidence and guidelines are recommending a step back and more thorough doctor-patient conversations about risks and benefits. As a medical journal editorial said this week about...

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