Game Theory and General Practice

Students of game theory soon become familiar with Hardin’s Tragedy of the Commons. Based upon William Lloyd’s 1833 lecture on population growth,1 it explores how to stop the overuse of a public good. In 19th-century England the common was an area of land where villagers were able to graze their livestock. Each additional ruminant put out to graze decreased the availability of fodder for the rest of the population; if too many animals were put out the area became worthless, overgrazed, and with no one reaping any benefit.

Lessons learned in game theory become relevant again when moving from secondary to primary care. One quickly becomes aware of the direct financial impact of patients’ prescribing and investigation costs….

This is the first part of my recent article in the BJGP. You can read the rest by clicking here

Full article reference:

Overgrazing in general practice: the new Tragedy of the Commons, Hassanally K, British Journal of General Practice, 1 February 2015

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