The Preventing Overdiagnosis conference in Bethesda, MD this year was amazing for many reasons.
One of my favourite parts? Meeting all the people who are doing excellent work in the area of preventing harm to patients from unnecessary tests and treatments! I've been lucky to "know" quite a few motivated people on Twitter, but putting faces to names to twitter handles was really something.
Imaging my delight to meet @RogueRad, aka Dr Saurabh Jha, the developer of Value of Imaging and Assistant Professor of Radiology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, with a background (and Master's) in Health Policy Research. He is really interested in uncertainty as a driver of diagnostic imaging utilization and how we decide which tests have value.
It should not be surprising then that he handed me a copy of Academic Radiology; why? The August journal, with Jha's editorial hand, was dedicated entirely to Overdiagnosis!
You can view the contents here. It is an impressive edition, with a Guest Editorial from H. Gilbert Welch and articles ranging from breast cancer screening to PET scanning in dementia to the role of Precision Medicine in confronting overdiagnosis. While I'm less optimistic about that last point, the August edition of Academic Radiology on the whole strikes a nice combination of hope and caution, balancing under- and over- diagnosis, even explicitly in the case of and article about this in the context of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI).
Hopefully in the coming year we'll see more medical journals dedicating themselves to this issue with the help of keen leadership like that of Dr Jha.