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Vikas Saini: a career protecting patients from the excesses of medicine

BMJ 2017; 359 doi: (Published 24 October 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;359:j4753
  1. Jeanne Lenzer, freelance journalist
  1. New York, USA
  1. jeanne.lenzer{at}

The campaigning US cardiologist once chose medicine over political activism, writes Jeanne Lenzer, now he works to combine them

Earlier this year the Boston cardiologist Vikas Saini, along with journalist Shannon Brownlee, led an international team of 27 co-authors to publish a series of articles for the Lancet about the global scourges of undertreatment and overtreatment. The series comprised a call to action against the physical, psychological, and social harms to patients, and wasteful misallocation of resources, caused by medical overuse and underuse and included a framework for addressing them”1

Saini and Brownlee began collaborating in 2011, after he read Brownlee’s book Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine is Making Us Sicker and Poorer. Together they organized the first Avoiding Avoidable Care Conference in April 2012, the first medical meeting devoted to the problem of overuse. This led to the formation of the Right Care Alliance, a US “partnership of providers, patients, and the general public,” which campaigns for an “affordable, effective, and accountable” healthcare system.2 But Saini has been trying to protect patients from the excesses …

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