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The balance of medicine

Contact Information

Email: kcms@me.com
Phone: 856-419-6856
Hours: By Appointment Only

Vital Stats

Kenneth Szwak, MHS, PA-C

Physician Assistant

Emergency Medicine
Family Medicine

State Licensed:
New Jersey

Board certification:

Professional memberships:

AAPA- Fellow member

SEMPA- Fellow member

Arcadia University
Faculty Appointment:
Clinical Preceptor

Drexel University
Faculty Appointment:
Clinical Assistant Professor

'Tis not always in a physician's power to cure the sick; at times the disease is stronger than trained art.  ~Ovid

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IF YOU BELIEVE YOU HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY, YOU SHOULD IMMEDIATELY CALL 911 OR YOUR PHYSICIAN. If you believe you have any other health problem, or if you have any questions regarding your health or a medical condition, you should promptly consult your physician or other healthcare provider. Never disregard medical or professional advice, or delay seeking it, because of something you read on this site or a linked website. Never rely on information on this website in place of seeking professional medical advice. You should also ask your physician or other healthcare provider to assist you in interpreting any information in this Site or in the linked websites, or in applying the information to your individual case.

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While the linked article centers around Emergency Medicine clinicians, the gist of the article is applicable to any field of medicine. Not every symptom / condition requires the most expensive test or any test at all for that matter. The point being, just as one should be weary of clinicians who prescribe a pill for every issue, one should be weary of clinicians who refer patients for tests with every issue. Tests are not always necessary and in the case of multiple radiological studies, they can be dangerous down the line. Multiple and frequent tests can certainly increase healthcare costs as well. In my own practice, I’m very conscious in trying to minimize the use Cat Scans and X-Rays when not necessary while not withholding them in cases where they are indicated. For instance, x-rays for fractures to the nose and tailbone are almost never needed. Likewise, back x-rays in the setting of most injuries almost never yield useful findings. Even Cat Scans, especially in children, need to be carefully considered. With a good history and use of an accepted screening tool like the Canadian Head CT Rule, many head injuries do not require a CT scan. And in cases of suspected appendicitis in children, an ultrasound can sometimes make the diagnosis and spare the radiation exposure (though it can’t rule out the diagnosis, so a CT scan may still be needed). Sometimes, even a period of observation or having a patient come back for a second examination is an acceptable alternative. So, if your primary care provider is alway ordering tests, remember you have the right to take an active part in your care. Ask why that particular test, what will it diagnose, what can it rule out, and are there any alternatives that can utilized. A confident and competent clinician should not object or take offense to such questions.



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February 2014
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