Just What The Doctor Ordered - Los Angeles News | FOX 11 LA KTTV

From Anchor Tony McEwing

Just What The Doctor Ordered

Posted: Updated:

A recent study confirms what many of us already know. Doctors are human, they're not infallible and they don't always give the best medical advice. Take the case of Jonathan Stelly. You may not know him but the 22 year old semi-pro baseball player had a real shot at making the big leagues. However, he had been plagued by fainting spells. He went to his cardiologist for tests and later got a call with shocking news. If he wanted to live to see 30 years old he would have to get a pacemaker. Stelly knew it would be the end of his baseball dream but he trusted the doctor and got the operation. Months later he found out his cardiologist was being investigated for performing unnecessary surgeries. Stelly went to three other doctors after that and every one of them agreed that he needed blood pressure medication but he never needed a pacemaker.

This is a pretty extreme case but, according to a recent study by USA TODAY, which reported the Stelly story, tens of thousands of times a year patients are operated on, getting surgeries that are totally unnecessary. The study says unnecessary operations may account for as many as 20% of surgeries in some specialties. How does this happen? Whether doctors are doing it to protect themselves from possible malpractice suits later on or to personally enrich themselves, it is apparently a huge problem that ends up costing all of us in the form of higher insurance premiums and government dollars being wasted on unnecessary procedures, instead of being spent on legitimate medical care. And to make matters worse, the federal government does not currently require hospitals to keep track of such surgeries.

Bottom line: when it comes to your health, nobody is going to care as much about you as you do. If you're told you need surgery for anything, it is always a good idea to get a second opinion and maybe even a third or fourth. The fact of the matter is, what the doctor orders is not necessarily something you need.

  • Share ThisMore>>

  • Venice Lightning Strike Survivor Meets His Rescuers

    Venice Lightning Strike Survivor Meets His Rescuers

    Friday, August 29 2014 12:48 PM EDT2014-08-29 16:48:58 GMT
    A month and a day has passed since the fatal lightning strike suddenly hit the shore off Venice Beach, hospitalizing about a dozen people. One of the most critically injured patients was reunited with his rescuers by the Venice Pier Thursday.
    A month and a day has passed since the fatal lightning strike suddenly hit the shore off Venice Beach, hospitalizing about a dozen people. One of the most critically injured patients was reunited with his rescuers by the Venice Pier Thursday.
  • Google building fleet of package-delivering drones

    Google building fleet of package-delivering drones

    Google's secretive research laboratory is trying to build a fleet of drones designed to bypass earthbound traffic so packages can be delivered to people more quickly.
    Google's secretive research laboratory is trying to build a fleet of drones designed to bypass earthbound traffic so packages can be delivered to people more quickly.
  • National Dog Day: Send Us Your Pup Pics

    National Dog Day: Send Us Your Pup Pics

    Tuesday, August 26 2014 7:17 PM EDT2014-08-26 23:17:59 GMT
    The purpose of the holiday is to show appreciation for the millions of the dogs in the US that keep us safe and bring us comfort and companionship.
    The purpose of the holiday is to show appreciation for the millions of the dogs in the US that keep us safe and bring us comfort and companionship.
Powered by WorldNow

KTTV FOX 11
1999 S. Bundy Dr.
Los Angeles CA 90025

Main: (310) 584-2000
News Tips? (310) 584-2025

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices