- The intensity of use of medical resources per period. Overutilization is use in excess of some optimal, preferred, stipulated (etc.) rate: the benchmark implied varies from context to context and is too frequently left asserted but undefined. The reader should be alert to its ambiguity: it may be propaganda in pursuit of a larger slice of the health resources cake. Utilization has many determinants, of which one is income, which has made it the focus of many studies of equity (and inequity).