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Effective patient care requires not only a working knowledge of recommended tests and therapies but also an understanding of the frequency of harms and benefits for each. To make educated decisions, patients must understand harms and benefits of treatments. Unfortunately, patients consistently overestimate benefits and underestimate harms of medical tests and procedures.1 Likewise, physicians are poor at assessing treatment effect size and other aspects of numeracy. Some have hypothesized that clinicians, similar to patients, overestimate risks and underestimate harms.2 We evaluated physician understanding of harms and benefits of common tests and therapies.
Krouss M, Croft L, Morgan DJ. Physician Understanding and Ability to Communicate Harms and Benefits of Common Medical Treatments. JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(10):1565-1567. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.5027