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Americans May Suffer from Over-Diagnosis


Aired 4/19/09

Tom Fudge: If you read the popular press, you get the impression that we are a sick nation. Headlines tell us about epidemics of obesity, asthma, breast cancer and heart disease. But Dr. H. Gilbert Welch thinks we actually suffer from a larger malady. He calls it the epidemic of diagnosis.

You could say Dr. Welch thinks we've become a nation of hypochondriacs. But he doesn't blame the average citizen for this. He says the notion that we're all sick, and all candidates for some form of medication, is a creation of the medical establishment.

Dr. H. Gilbert Welch is a professor of medicine at Dartmouth. And he's author of a book called Should I Be Tested for Cancer? Maybe Not, and Here's Why.



  • Dr. H. Gilbert Welch , professor of community and family medicine at Dartmouth Medical School and co-director of the VA Outcomes Group in the Department of Veterans Affairs.

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