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Rheumatologists Cautioned to Avoid Overtreatment

Medscape reported on potential overtreatment when it comes to rheumatology patients.

According to HSS rheumatologist Vivian P. Bykerk, BSc, MD, FRCPC, overdiagnosis does not occur very often in rheumatology.

"In 25 years of treating early [rheumatoid arthritis (RA)] patients, I have observed that they usually present with very obvious RA. I can think of only a few that might have come too early," said Dr. Bykerk.

Dr. Bykerk noted that there could be new opportunities to find new treatment targets by focusing on precision medicine. However, she explained the importance of listening to the patient's symptoms and needs.

She said "if they aren't in pain, they are less likely to agree to medication with a potential or experienced side effect list that is worse than their perceived problem. I have always said, 'Treat the patient, not the test.'"

Read the full article at Medscape.com [subscription required].