Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many people have put off routine medical care. This means that hundreds of thousands, or indeed millions, of doctor visits that might otherwise have occurred, did not. This makes sense: who wants to sit in a waiting room filled with sick people during a worldwide disease outbreak?
Almost 9 in 10 Are Doing Just Fine
The nationwide skipping of medical appointments has been a social and scientific experiment rolled into one. So, what was the result? Did all that missed care mean Americans got dramatically sicker? In fact, it seems as if there has been no meaningful change at all. A recent story in the New York Times documents how 86% of would-be patients feel just fine.
As the report notes, there are many possible explanations for this. Perhaps Americans adopted healthier lifestyles while dealing with Covid-19. Maybe social distancing kept people healthy by preventing the transmission of other sicknesses like the common cold. While these factors may have been at play, another, more intriguing, answer exists.
The Amount of Medical Care Is Just Too High?
Perhaps Americans were simply getting too much medical attention before the pandemic. Medical offices are going to be back to full speed one day. When they do, they are likely to start ordering all kinds of therapies, in part to make up for all the lost revenue. But, is this a good thing?
Studies Show How Useless Some Procedures And Medications Are Useless
We have seen endless studies that show how useless so many medical procedures are. These include cardiac stents and MRI scans for back pain. Research has also shown that some medications simply don't work. Others cause actual harm. In some cases, drug companies are pushing doctors to prescribed medications more than they should. Indeed, per the New York Times report, as much as 20% of all surgeries in some specialties are not warranted.
What To Do? Talk To Your Doctor
So, what to do? No one should ever avoid the medical care he or she needs. But, it might be time to question how often it is we go to the doctor and get drugs or tests or even surgeries.
Never change your medical regimen in response to such a blog post at this one. I cannot give medical advice. But, it makes sense to talk to your doctor about her treatment plans for you. Ask more questions and you might find you are going to the doctor a lot less than you used to do.