Meetings play a role in docs overperforming surveillance colonoscopies

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According to a report on eurekalert.org, "Physicians appear to be performing surveillance colonoscopies at frequencies higher than those recommended by evidence-based medical guidelines, according to results of a survey conducted by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health& These results, which appear in the August 17, 2004, Annals of Internal Medicine*, suggest that as the demand for colonoscopies in the United States increases, overperformance could use up limited physician resources and cause unnecessary risk to patients."

Part of the problem, it seems, is that the physicians are getting information that conflicts with the guidelines from clinical evidence in scientific journals. "Information obtained at medical conferences or meetings also was perceived as influential. The authors noted that one problem may be that different medical groups have somewhat differing recommendations, so doctors do not have one single source to turn to for practice guidelines." The study said that 80 percent of the surveyed physicians "said scientific evidence was significantly more influential than medical guidelines."

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