Wednesday, January 30, 2013

The best recent posts you may have missed

Every other month or so, I post a list of my top 5 favorite posts since the preceding "best of" list on this blog, for those of you who have only recently started reading Common Sense Family Doctor or don't read it regularly. Here are my favorites from December and January:

1) False alarms and unrealistic expectations in preventive care (12/22/12)

2) Overdiagnosis and the epidemic of snipers on rooftops (1/2/13)

3) Too much medical care: do we know it when we see it? (1/21/13)

4) Yes, family medicine is an affordable career choice (12/4/12)

5) Cancer epidemiology 101 for urologists (and others) (12/12/12)

If you have a personal favorite that isn't on this list, please let me know. Thanks for reading!


  1. Why is having your blood count done at your physical a bad idea?

  2. The short version: the predictive value of tests for disease depends largely on your underlying risk of having a problem. A generally healthy person with no symptoms (fever, fatigue, etc.) is much more likely to have a false positive than a true positive test, resulting in additional unnecessary, and possibly invasive tests (eg bone marrow biopsy). In someone who's sick, a complete blood count can sometimes be helpful. In someone who's well, it almost always leads to trouble. Further reading here: