Playing it Safe

Created by:

26 Nov 2016 - General

photo from Pinterest

The forefathers of clinicians relied only on history and physical examination to arrive at a diagnosis and sound management. The older generation of doctors have preserved this good clinical acumen until the medical lawsuits came. Preventive medicine then entered the picture where one should still ancillary procedures even if the diagnosis is screaming at the physician's face. Now, doctors rely on ancillaries just to diagnose any illness. Younger doctors seem to have lost the clinical eye or we simply do not trust it as often anymore because of possible legal complications. This comic is a hilarious jab of playing it too safe with the practice of medicine. The arrow is obviously impaling the head of the patient yet the doctor will probably still order imaging modalities to confirm that it is indeed an arrow. Patients today get a lot of unnecessary exposure to ionizing radiation for situations such as this. For the clinicians in the MIMS community, do you find yourself in clinical scenarios where you are really certain about a diagnosis but still order an imaging or ancillary procedure to protect oneself from potential incrimination? Does this often happen to you? In my clinical experience, I do not subject my patients to x-ray unless there is suspicion of fracture and/or the diagnosis is through radiography (i.e. osteoarthritis). Our guidelines also encourage less x-ray exposure for the patients.