Sources: ProPublica, February 2017
Hundreds of medical tests, drugs, therapies, and surgeries have been shown in scientific studies to be ineffective or even harmful for more patients than they help. Examples include coronary stents, postmenopausal hormone replacement, and arthroscopic partial meniscectomy. And yet, for years after such treatments are debunked, doctors continue to prescribe them widely, motivated by financial incentive, patient demand, and other factors. The American public tends to overestimate the efficacy of medical innovations and underestimate the benefits of public health initiatives and lifestyle changes. In this in-depth feature, ProPublica examines these complex problems and some efforts to solve them.