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June 1991

Let's Not Overmedicalize

Author Affiliations

Meadville, Pa

Arch Intern Med. 1991;151(6):1237-1238. doi:10.1001/archinte.1991.00400060143036

To the Editor. —  I would like to make two comments about the report by Kroenke et al1 that appeared in the August 1990 issue of the ARCHIVES. This report and its companion editorial by Komaroff2 on "minor" illness symptoms lament the prevalence and inadequate treatment of symptoms such as dizziness, headache, and fatigue.My first comment concerns Kroenke's patient population— appears to be all military and military-dependent. Any physician who has worked in such a clinic can tell you that the absence of (1) co-payment and (2) income loss for sick time will inflate the prevalence of minor symptoms.Second, and more important, I think that we in the health care field should cast a suspicious eye on recommendations to further medicalize the minor vicissitudes of life. Surely, we are under enough criticism now, without making additional implied promises that we can cure every inconvenience. Let's listen

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