The limits of Medical Tests


The heart stress test has been around for a long time. The letter you see is from a cardiologist in Roswell,NM to an anonymous patient who had done the Lexiscan Nuclear stress test administered by the Covenant Family Healthcare Center.

The heart doctor disclosed to his patient that there was a high probability that the coronary arteries in their heart were NOT tightly narrowed. This careful wording is necessary to cut down on the likelihood of the cardiologist being sued by patient for a widow maker heart attack. However, he does appear to be quite confident in the positive correlation between the stress test results and the low possibility of coronary artery constriction.

Dr. Hamid Feroze forewarned his patient that no stress test is 100% perfect, again trying to protect his practice from stray lawsuits. The physician’s claim certainly extends to ANY type of medical test being attended by some margin of error to anticipate false positives.

What is a false positive in this context? An example would be having a doctor diagnose  you with diabetes, when, in fact, you are not afflicted with the sugar metabolizing malady. According to recent studies, 1 in 10 Americans is misdiagnosed by a doctor to the extent that patient dies due to mistreatment or not being treated at all!

Much of the aforementioned is why doctors pay more in malpractice insurance than most people’s annual salaries!

Results of heart stress test
Results of heart stress test

1 comment on “The limits of Medical TestsAdd yours →

  1. A lot of respect for medical professional MSN Barbara Whitten of Roswell. She is knowledgeable in her field and an excellent and caring listener.

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