Executive physicals, a $3,000 waste of time

People with money to burn, and unscrupulous doctors who take advantage of them. The ultimate in concierge care:

But executives with money to burn should be careful. Physicians who hear the sound of coins clinking have incentive to recommend procedures that cost a lot but may have dubious benefit. Whole body scans may sound cool, but they aren’t very specific. Many wealthy people who latched on to the body scan craze found themselves undergoing invasive follow-up procedures, including catheterizations and biopsies, that involved extra risks but uncovered no serious problems. According to the medical experts we talked to, anyone having a battery of tests needs to know the reason for each test, the downsides and potential benefits, even if that takes extra time and involves getting a second opinion.

Costly diagnostic exams are also sometimes more trouble than they’re worth. Shawn Jenkins learned that the hard way, when he started experiencing vertigo in the mid-1990s. Jenkins, now 39 and CEO of software firm Benefitfocus, went to a specialist. Before he even saw the doctor, he was put through $25,000 worth of tests, including an MRI. Then the physician came in, looked in his ear and wrote him a prescription for an antihistamine.

Just throw evidence-based medicine out the window. (via Clinical Cases)

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