Thanks John. Dr. O is still my doctor and the information I posted above came from him. He is great. I get the sense that he talks to Dr. Shen on a weekly basis and learns everything that is going on at his old stomping grounds, the Cleveland Clinic, where he did his Fellowship. Dr. O basically has me under control but like some others I have a stubborn case of refractory pouchitis and can't get off antibiotics, much as I have tried.
Scott, I hear ya on the unnecessary testing and procedures. My good friend who has UC had an unnecessary gall bladder removal due to a false positive imaging test. After the gall bladder was taken out it was examined and there was nothing wrong with it. It was healthy. Unfortunately they cannot put it back in once it is taken out. My friend considered a medical malpractice lawsuit especially because he had needless complications, and pain that sent him to the ER after the surgery which was done laparoscopically, but is by no means totally comfortable. Eventually he just moved on from the whole ordeal.
It's true that we in the USA over-test and over-procedure and the reason for it is medical malpractice lawsuits. Although it is not my area of expertise I was involved in a medical malpractice lawsuit some years ago that resulted in a jury verdict against a local hospital which, after the verdict, started routinely performing a certain diagnostic test that they had not performed previously. Whether that test should be routinely done is open to debate. Our medical expert witness (a superstar who riveted the jury) said yes. The hospital's medical expert said no. The jury believed our expert. But I think Scott is probably right and that generally USA hospitals greatly overtest and over-procedure due to medical malpractice lawsuits. In fact liability insurers may require a lot of it as well.