TGIM 2/20/2015

Many of the teachers I know and care for are very troubled by the recent emphasis that has been placed on standardized tests. The profession they love has been taken out of their hands and placed in the control of administrators. Rather than treating each student as an individual, and developing strategies to best connect with and motivate children with different learning capabilities, they now are “forced” to teach to the test.

Unfortunately the same thing is happening in another critical industry- medicine.  In her editorial “The Doctor as a slave to tests”, Dr. Abigail Zuger explains the problem.

“Guidelines mandate tests, and patients expect them; abnormal tests mean medication, and medication means more tests”.

Similar to teachers Doctors are increasingly being judged by how many tests they order and their salary can even be affected by it. More tests would be great if they have a beneficial impact on patients health.  But test skeptics, like a group at Dartmouth medical school think just the opposite.  They have found that increasing the number of many medical tests does not necessarily make a healthier patient, any more than standardized testing young students improves their intellect.  You can read the article here;

Please be careful about putting too much faith in tests- medical, educational, or other.  They can be valuable in establishing a baseline but are static- they only tell you where you are at a particular moment in time. If you get a positive result from a test look for lifestyle changes that will help your body rather than just going on medicine for the rest of your life.  For example the high cholesterol/heart disease link has been disproved (  How many people are currently on medication unnecessarily for this one test result?  Think before you test! Your health is your responsibility!!!

Expect better health, Dr Matt

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