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Perspective | Less Is More

How I Was Prescribed an Unnecessary Antibiotic While Traveling to a Conference on Antibiotic Resistance

Kevin T. Kavanagh, MD1
[+] Author Affiliations
1Health Watch USA, Somerset, Kentucky
JAMA Intern Med. 2014;174(9):1433-1434. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2014.3412.
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As a physician, I had always assumed that patients were the ones who pressured physicians for an unnecessary antibiotic prescription. I found out that this is not necessarily the case when I recently became ill while attending, ironically enough, an infectious disease conference on antibiotic-resistant bacteria sponsored by the US Department of Health and Human Services.

The morning after the seminar, I woke up with a sore throat. I wondered where it came from and thought about the prior week. My wife and I were with my granddaughter, who had a recurrent ear infection, and at the time I had wondered whether she had a recalcitrant bacterial infection.

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Figure.
Mean Rate of Outpatient Antibiotic Prescriptions Dispensed per 1000 Residents in 2010

Adapted with permission from the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics and Policy.1

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