The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has a new program called “Academic Detailing” that has the potential to harm the physician/patient relationship, not improve it. This program sends government detailers into physicians’ offices with the goal of getting them to change their prescribing habits based on broad comparative effectiveness research results that do not always incorporate the differences of individual patients. Detailers are supposed to “help doctors make the right decisions for their patients.”
At 22 years old, I had my first colonoscopy. My doctor, who knows my medical history best, decided that a colonoscopy was in my best interest to rule out serious issues. Luckily, it wasn’t too serious and I was able to move past the pain, but not all people fall into that same category. What works for the masses may not work for everyone and I would like my doctor to be the one making that decision, not a government detailer.
After attending a Colon Cancer Alliance health care forum in Marietta, I realized that government detailing IS a serious issue. Washington should not hold the prescription pad; my doctor should.