Information Asymmetry

Ever feel like someone in a professional relationship was taking advantage of you? There is something called the "Principal-Agent Dilemma" that describes such a feeling. Whenever a lay person (a Principal) hires an attorney or a stock-broker or visits a doctor (all of whom are Agents), the principal has to trust that the agent is going to act in his/her best interest. But we all know that doesn't always happen. Sometimes the agent acts unethically in his/her own best interest (maybe by over billing or over treating), which is clearly not in the best interest of the principal. Sometimes we sense this, sometimes we can't tell that it is happening.

Abuse like this can happen because the agent (doctor) knows so much more than the principal (patient) that there is "information asymmetry". A bad actor can exploit the information asymmetry and manipulate a patient into "choosing" treatments that are expensive but not helpful. 

Medical abuse is rampant in Florida, particularly in the treatment of varicose veins and PAD.

BE CAREFUL. Don't be intimidated by Information Asymmetry. Ask questions. Get a second opinion. If you sense something is wrong call a time out, have a family member double check for you. Make sure you ask the 5 questions I posted on a previous blog. Make sure your doctor is a "peach" acting in your best interest, not an unethical "lemon".