In a news analysis, Elisabeth Rosenthal of the New York Times, a medical doctor, asks, “…why do Americans, nearly alone on the planet, remain so devoted to the ritual physical exam and to all of these tests, and why do so many doctors continue to provide them? ”
It’s not just our “more is better” culture, or the financial incentive, she says. She lists “sociological” reasons that make it so difficult for doctors, and patients, to let go of tests that have no proven value.
But she suggests that the Choosing Wisely campaign may be a sign that “America may be poised to rethink its rituals.”