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Editor's Note
June 25, 2012

Just Listen and Think
Comment on “What the Surgeon Should Have Said to My Patient With Thin Malignant Melanoma”

Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(12):908. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2012.1930

One of the most difficult challenges for physicians in 2012 is not suggesting another test or procedure, even when not having one is what is best for our patients. Every incentive in our system is to do something. We get paid more for doing more, pharmaceutical and device companies encourage us to use their wares, we often must meet procedure volume standards to maintain excellence designations, and patients have come to expect “something.” But before doing any test or procedure, we need to consider if it has a significant clinical benefit for our patient. If not, the time could be better used for thinking and talking.