Doctor ShoppingCreated by:
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Doctor shopping is the act of visiting multiple physicians to seek medical opinion until a patient hears a preferred diagnosis/ treatment or to collect prescription drugs. I have encountered quite a few cases during my career as a resident and it is quite alarming. Moreover, it breaches the doctor-patient relationship. In the code of ethics, patients must inform his/her doctor that she will be seeking another physician's opinion. This allows the attending physician to plan endorsement of the patient to the new doctor if needed be. Junkies for pain relievers are also quite common and I have met a fe who request for a month's supply of NSAIDs. For physical medicine and rehabilitation, these are my primary concerns with doctor shopping: 1.) Patient safety. We always ask patients if they are taking NSAIDs as other specialties such as internists already prescribe pain medications. Double dosing of of NSAIDs can lead to GI bleeding, acute kidney injury, or myocardial infarction 2.) Procedure duplication. The interval of intra-articular steroid injection should be at least 4 months in between to prevent ligament/tendon rupture and possible infection. Some would go doctor shopping to obtain another procedure that could do more harm than good. For other specialties, what are your concerns with doctor shopping? For the allied healthcare professionals, do you have experiences to share with "shopping"?