Millions of blood tests are performed annually in the U.S. Many are for routine blood analyses, and others are for follow-up, such as to monitor prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels following prostate cancer treatment or to check if uric levels are declining after a patient has been prescribed allopurinol.

Although doctors, as part of their training, become adept at doing venipunctures to obtain blood samples, these procedures typically are done by phlebotomists, nurses, or some other non-physicians employed in doctors’ offices, hospitals, and walk-in laboratory testing facilities.

Thus, it may have been a while since a doctor has had to do a venipuncture.

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