Faced with an array of treatment options, many patients would choose to forgo invasive surgeries for kinder, gentler treatment, such as physical therapy for a painful disk. But according to Paul Sherman, M.D., medical director for care systems development at Group Health, patients get funneled toward elective surgeries at every step of the care process.
"Surgeons want to perform surgeries, and physicians don't have the same perceptions as patients when it comes to down-sides to elective procedures," he said during a June 16 presentation at the AHIP 2011 Institute in San Francisco. "In fact, studies have shown that physicians recommend much more invasive treatments for their patients than they would choose for themselves. So there's definitely a disconnect there."
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