Thursday, December 9, 2010

Prospective Vs. Retrospective Medicine

This ER physician discusses a typical "damned if you do and damned if you don't" scenario in, "Inevitable Malpractice".

As he notes, this the difference between prospective and retrospective medicine: "Doctors have to make decisions in five minutes and lawyers have 5 years to tell you why those decisions were wrong".

Although our broken tort system is not the primary contributor to rising health costs, from personal experience, I know that the amount of defensive medicine that ER doctors must practice in the form of ordering radiology tests is enormous. And given the legal climate in which they must operate, I don't blame them one bit.

(Via @DrVes and @KevinMD.)