Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

The Curbsiders Internal Medicine Podcast

Supercharge your learning as these board-certified Internists interview the experts to bring you clinical pearls, practice changing knowledge, and a healthy dose of humor. 

Dec 23, 2019

Team up with the authors of the JAMA Medicine series on Medical Overuse, Dr. Dan Morgan @dr_dmorgan (University of Maryland) and Dr. Deborah Korenstein @DKorenstein (Memorial Sloan Kettering). We discuss procalcitonin (again!), the dangers of incidentalomas, risks of chest CT for lung cancer screening, the easiest place to get antibiotics for a viral infection, and why not to treat subclinical hypothyroidism despite guidelines. Trying to find ways to shed the fat off of some common medical practices? Look no further. 

ACP members can claim CME-MOC credit at (CME goes live at 0900 ET on the episode’s release date). 

Show Notes | Subscribe | Spotify | Schwag! | Top Picks | Mailing List |


  • Written and Produced by: Justin Berk, MD MPH MBA
  • Infographic: Justin Berk, MD MPH MBA
  • Cover Art: Matthew Watto MD, FACP
  • Hosts: Stuart Brigham MD; Matthew Watto MD, FACP; Paul Williams MD, FACP   
  • Editor: Molly Heublein MD, Matthew Watto MD, FACP, Emi Okamoto MD (written materials); Clair Morgan of (audio)
  • Guest:  Daniel Morgan MD, Deborah Korenstein MD, FACP

Time Stamps

  • 00:00 Intro, disclaimer, guest bios
  • 04:45 Guest one-liners
  • Picks of the Week*: The Fifth Season is part of The Broken Earth Trilogy by NK Jemisen; The Great Believers: A Novel by Rebecca Makkai; A Constellation of Viral Phenomena by Anthony Marra
  • 09:22 Best advice
  • 11:18 Defining Medical Overuse and defining categories
  • 19:20 Procalcitonin testing for pneumonia
  • 27:42 Imaging and incidentalomas
  • 37:38 Lung cancer screening CT scan; the Bach model
  • 46:25 Urgent care and antibiotic prescriptions for viral illnesses
  • 52:43 Subclinical hypothyroidism
  • 58:32 Take home points
  • 61:00 Outro and Stuart tells us about his knee pain

*The Curbsiders participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising commissions by linking to Amazon. Simply put, if you click on my links and buy something we earn a (very) small commission, yet you don’t pay any extra.


Listeners will consider 5 of the top articles from 2018 that demonstrate signs of medical overuse that seem to offer more harm than benefit to patients.

Learning objectives

After listening to this episode listeners will…  

  1. Define medical overuse
  2. Discuss recent data about the utility of procalcitonin for antibiotic stewardship in respiratory infections.
  3. Recall the frequency incidentalomas on imaging and which modalities are associated with the highest risk.
  4. Identify the differences in benefits of annual lung cancer screening with CT based on baseline risk
  5. Recall the lack of evidence for treatment of asymptomatic subclinical hypothyroidism
  6. Describe the locations that are associated with more antibiotic prescriptions for viral infections.


Dr. Morgan and Dr. Korenstein report no relevant financial disclosures. The Curbsiders report no relevant financial disclosures. 


Morgan D, Korenstein D, Berk J, Williams PN, Brigham SK, Watto MF. “#189 Medical Overuse”. The Curbsiders Internal Medicine Podcast. December 23, 2019.