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Invited Commentary
October 2016

Physician Practice Style Variation—Implications for Policy

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Economics, Hunter College, New York, New York
  • 2Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice, Geisel School of Medicine, New Hampshire
  • 3Department of Economics, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire
JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(10):1549-1550. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.4433

Practice style variation at the regional level has been well documented at different geographic levels, but there is much less research focusing on the role of individual physician variability in practice. Two studies1,2 have shown considerable variation in the practice styles of cardiologists who treat patients with acute myocardial infarction and obstetricians who perform cesarean-sections, but less is known about how the use of nonrecommended or “low-value” care varies across physicians.

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