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Why You Might Not Want to Book Late Afternoon Doctor's Appointments

"Should concern health professionals."

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Aside from their schedules being delayed by a full day's worth of late comers and other issues, a late afternoon doctor's appointment might not result in what's best for your health, a new study found.

A study found doctors were more likely to prescribe patients antibiotics, even if they didn't really need them, as the day wore on. (Photo credit: Shutterstock) A study found doctors were more likely to prescribe patients antibiotics, even if they didn't really need them, as the day wore on. (Photo credit: Shutterstock)

The study from researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston found that doctors seemed to "wear down" after a morning of appointments and were more likely to prescribe antibiotics, which might not be needed or appropriate for a patient, in the afternoon.

“Clinic is very demanding and doctors get worn down over the course of their clinic sessions,” Dr. Jeffrey Linder, lead author of the study, said in a statement. “In our study we accounted for patients, the diagnosis and even the individual doctor, but still found that doctors were more likely to prescribe antibiotics later in their clinic session.”

According to the data the team analyzed, about 5 percent more patients received antibiotics at the end of the day compared to the beginning.

Antonio Teixeira Rodrigues with the University of Aveiro in Portugal, who was not involved with the study, told Reuters that the trend of prescribing more antibiotics later in the day, whether a patient needs them or not, needs to be addressed by medical professionals.

“It reveals how complex the antibiotic prescribing process is, comprising medical, social and economic issues and should concern health professionals and authorities, and the general population because it increases the complexity and difficulty of tackling this public health problem,” he told Reuters in an email. "“We must not forget that antibiotic misuse is one of the main factors underlying the increasing rates of antimicrobial resistances, which is a major public health concern worldwide."

“Remedies for this problem might include different schedules, shorter sessions, more breaks or maybe even snacks," Linder said.

A somewhat similar study found that food also impacted the decision making skills of court judges as well.

(H/T: Healthday via Reddit)

Front page image via Shutterstock.

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