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Editor's Correspondence
Feb 13, 2012

Training in Uncertainty Has Value for Primary Care Physicians: Overreliance on Technology Can Be Remedied

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Dr Volpintesta is in private practice in Bethel, Connecticut.

Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(3):296-297. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2011.803

Sirovich et al1 make several good points about primary care physicians' overuse of technology. They did not mention, however, that new physicians often leave their residencies with little training in learning how to be comfortable with uncertainty, and consequently, some overdepend on imaging studies and laboratory tests to rule in or rule out problems.

The sheer amount of technology available may lead some of them to look askance at the value of their clinical skills and bypass them in favor of testing. This can lead to a technological addiction that is every bit as difficult to break as a substance addiction.

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