Explicit training in appropriate decision making about pathology test ordering should be provided early
Developing a training framework that fosters and cultivates a lifetime approach to high value and cost-conscious health care is challenging. High value health care has been defined as “the best care for the patient, with the optimal result for the circumstances, delivered at the right price.”1 In this issue of the MJA, Magin and colleagues report their analysis of the recorded information for almost 115 000 consultations by 876 general practice registrars in Australia.2 During the first 18–24 months of clinical practice, the number of pathology tests they requested increased by 11% per 6-month full-time equivalent term. This significant increase early in clinical practice is worrying; general practitioners request pathology tests more frequently than other medical practitioners,2 and establishing good patterns of decision making in the formative years of clinical training should be a priority.
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