28 minutes. That's all it will take to experience a fantastic overview of "too much medicine."
Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC)'s Catalyst has been able to clearly describe the problem, share common examples, offer opposing perspectives, and focus on some avenues for change. With guests like Dr Iona Heath (a retired GP and former President of Royal College of General Practitioners at the forefront of the movement to prevent overdiagnosis) and Dr Ranjana Srivastava (an oncologist, who wrote about the right amount of medicine in the context of her mother), it's persuasive, and it is for everyone:
- newbies: patients and health care providers who are new to the concepts of "overdiagnosis," "overtreatment," and the idea that in medicine, sometimes more is not better will find this a decent introduction
- keeners: this is an EXCELLENT video to use in your teaching and in spreading the message
- skeptics: while this video may not persuade you to say "no" to having mammograms or stop ordering them for your patients, for example, it might help reframe the problem:
- the main idea is not "never do this test or treatment" but rather: we must combine the best available evidence about risks and benefits of having vs. or not having a test or treatment with the patient's goals, and currently we are doing a pretty bad job of fully informing our patients to empower them to make the choice that is appropriate for them
Could our relentless pursuit of good health be making us sick? Advances in medicine have propelled health care to new heights and a vast array of diagnostic tests and drug therapies is now available. But are we getting too much of a good thing? An increasing number of doctors now say that sometimes, "less is more" when it comes to medical interventions. Some doctors are concerned that resources are being wasted on the "worried well" and that the ever-expanding definition of how we define "disease" has been influenced by vested interests. Could excessive medical interventions be causing more harm than good? Dr Maryanne Demasi examines how our relentless pursuit for good health might be making us sick
*NB if the youtube link doesn't let you view the video from your country, try ABC's website: http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/4339690.htm*
Want more? Australian media is just knocking it out of the park! ABC's Four Corners did a similar video, Wasted that is also worth a look.