Despite the obvious medical benefits of using ionization radiation technologies like an x-ray for diagnosis, there is still widespread abuse. Both patients and their doctors are responsible for the seemly haphazard recommendation and use of x-rays.
Now, for many people, x-rays are the magic pill to their money or health problem. Here is an explanation of three ways in which x-ray abuse occurs and hopefully, people get to recommend the use of the x-ray for the right reasons by understanding what’s wrong.
1. For protection against legal suits
The rise of medical insurance has had a major implication on medical practitioners. They must act in accordance with the stipulated cover of a patient. On their part, the practitioners do not want to provide care that is not covered by a given policy. They can only do so if they are certain that the patient will cover the extra costs. On the other part, insurers will only honor the cost of medicating when it falls within the terms of a policy claim for their client.
Another thing is that physicians or clinicians face the risk of legal suits if they provide care that is deemed unsuitable for their patients. On the other hand, they will also face legal risks if they use procedures that are not certain. Therefore, doctors think of what could happen if the desired effects of a procedure are not realized and things go bad for the patient.
The first thing done by the patient would be to sue the doctor. To protect themselves, the doctors will only conduct the safest and most guaranteed procedure. They will also recommend what is common among other practitioners.
The practitioners have a code of practice that binds their actions. They will only work within their limits to prevent suits in the short term or long term. If trouble later arises on the patient’s part, the practitioner will rely on records for proof. Thus, the decision of going with an x-ray is a matter of standards of practice for many doctors.
They will not conduct harm versus benefit analysis on the particular patient. Instead, the main characteristic of the patient will be the basis of the evaluation. The doctor will go with an x-ray because it is the standard practice, not because the patient really needs it.
2. For causing the feeling of accomplishment in the patient
When patients seek the intervention of a doctor in a complicated medical condition, they are usually desperate. Any action by the doctor towards treatment is highly appreciated by the patient. Thus, it is common to see patients keep on asking their doctor to do something. If doctors just prescribe medicines and leave patients alone, the patient will likely feel uncured.
However, if the doctors work with the psychology of the patient, then it is likely that the patient will feel get better faster. For the same reason, most doctors will prefer to use x-ray procedures to deal with the emotional expectations of the patient. Patients will feel that something has been done when their doctors ask them to go through an ionization radiation procedure.
For private practitioners, recommending X-rays is also a way of attracting patients, who think that the doctor must be very effective in treatment. Patients may also want an x-ray because they want to feel that they are well using their health insurance coverage.
3. For marketing purposes
Most people associate sophistication with the effectiveness of treatment. Unfortunately, this is not the truth. A seemingly simple procedure can have very effective treatment effects on a medical condition. However, for doctors keen on capitalizing on the misconceptions of patients, complicated procedures are their norm. Most of these doctors also have exorbitant consultancy fees.
They will conduct x-rays and other major diagnostic procedures just to show people that they are really working hard to cure them. Sometimes, a patient’s condition would be bad because of their age. Other times, patients simply have too much emotional imbalance that is causing their conditions to appear very critical. Yet, you will find that a practitioner, who knows the natural cause of such conditions, goes ahead and makes the patient feel that something else is causing the medical condition.
For example, some degenerative changes usually occur because of aging. Nevertheless, the doctor would use the opportunity to test for all manner of conditions just to appear concerned with the patient’s health. This selling gimmick works well for patients with a huge health policy coverage. Opportunistic doctors have just realized that this is a way to earn a steady income.