You know, they say there’s not much use for Latin any more. Some scholars even call it a “dead language.”
But a group of doctors is banding together to remind their colleagues of one old Latin phrase they should have learned on their first day of medical school.
Primum non nocere. It means, “First, do no harm.”
That’s the message behind a new set of guidelines issued by a health group that’s trying to put the kibosh on 90 medical tests and treatments that may do more harm than good.
A medical coalition called Choosing Wisely, which was formed by the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation, reached out to thousands of doctors and asked them which medications and treatments were being overused in their fields, even though their benefits were iffy at best.
And these docs didn’t just come back with a few treatments — they came back with a boatload full. If you think mainstream docs have been poking and prodding you a little too much for your own good, well, their colleagues may agree with you.
We’ve been telling you about many of these pointless treatments for years. For example, Choosing Wisely is advising doctors to stop prescribing dangerous and addictive opiod painkillers for migraines. Opiod painkillers have been linked to hazardous side effects and natural cures such as magnesium and B6 have been proven safe and effective for easing migraine pain.
The report also took aim at the needless — and often dangerous — screening occurring in mainstream medicine. Doctors responding to Choosing Wisely said that colonoscopies, which can cause heavy bleeding and tears, are being performed far too frequently.
The list of pointless and potentially damaging tests and treatments is long and frightening, and the message is consistent — more medical care doesn’t mean better medical care. And, in many cases, it only means that you’re exposing yourself to unnecessary risk.
You can do your part to help spread the word. Check out the Choosing Wisely website for guidelines on procedures you need — and ones you should skip — and share this information with your doctor
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