Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Why Doctors So Often Get It Wrong

Studies of autopsies have shown that doctors seriously misdiagnose fatal illnesses about 20 percent of the time. So millions of patients are being treated for the wrong disease.

"Under the current medical system, doctors, nurses, lab technicians and hospital executives are not actually paid to come up with the right diagnosis," writes The New York Times' David Leonhardt "They are paid to perform tests and to do surgery and to dispense drugs. There is no bonus for curing someone and no penalty for failing, except when the mistakes rise to the level of malpractice. So even though doctors can have the best intentions, they have little economic incentive to spend time double-checking their instincts, and hospitals have little incentive to give them the tools to do so." To read more, click on the headline above.

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