Dan Hinmon, MCSMN Director

Posts: 2881
Joined: Apr 13, 2011

You've Never Heard of the Powerful Doctors Making Decisions About Your

Posted by @DanHinmon, Mar 23, 2016

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force consists of 16 physicians who decide which checkups and tests Americans need to remain healthy. Recent controversies: They recommended that most women forget about yearly mammograms until they turn 50, then decided most men shouldn’t be screened for prostate cancer.

This article identifies some of the members, recounts the origins in the Reagan administration, and explains the process the task force goes through to make decisions that impact all of our preventive practices.


Thanks for sharing this. The USPTF recommended against routine thyroid function testing in “non-symptomatic” individuals last year, despite the fact that the major endocrine associations estimate that up to 60% of cases of thyroid dysfunction in the U.S. are currently undiagnosed. The USPTF cited a lack of long-term randomized, blinded, controlled trials to support screening programs. In an online comment posted on March 29, Robert A. Stern, PhD, from Boston University School of Medicine and James V. Hennessey, MD, from Harvard Medical School noted, “If all generally accepted practices were subject to the standard of randomized placebo-controlled trials prior to implementation, it is likely that…the use of parachutes by airborne troops would not be recommended. We are concerned that clinicians will conclude that thyroid function testing is unwarranted in all but the most symptomatic patients. Symptoms of thyroid dysfunction are subtle, non-specific, vary substantially from individual to individual and are unreliable.”

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