Monday, March 21, 2011

Disturbing State Of Medicine

Well, if the statistics from an article I recently read are to be believed, I would indeed be disturbed, and perhaps, be seriously thinking about its implications.

The article was written by a veteran contibuting author in a natural medicine website. We know that the tomato pelting between the mainstream and the natural and alternative medicine camps has been going on for years now.

Medicine is a multi-billion dollar industry, and what's happening between the two camps, to me, is an on-going battle for market share. That's the sad part, when medicine is perceived as a commercial venture, rather than a humanitarian endeavor. [read: Alarming Statistics On Physicians' Misbehavior]

I'm a believer of natural medicine, of the healing properties of food and nutrients found in Nature. As a niche market, we are targets of natural and alternative practitioners, legitimate and scammers alike. But I'm wary of a dig by either side, especially if it contains an endorsement of a product, usually their own. I see it as nothing but an obvious attempt to land us to a sales page. There might be merits in what is being said, but then the commercial air is just overwhelming, which makes me hie off the page immediately.

Mainstream medicine has also its own share of scams, some of them the biggest in history, perpetrated with the collusion of Big Pharma, and alledgedly, goverment regulating agencies, on the hapless population.

If mainstream medicine and Big Pharma have their spin doctors to sway you over to their side, so does the other camp. Of course, we end up paying for the advertising and promotional expenses, which are tacked on the prices of their products. Oftentimes we are asked to take medicines or undergo procedures which are not really necessary, or placed on lifetime medications with questionable benefits and high risks of harmful side effects.

The bottom line is, we should weigh our options. Don't believe everything your doctor tells you. Seek a second, third, or fourth opinion. Compare advice from mainstream with that of naturopaths. Make some searches in the internet. There are good souls, doctors, without the $ sign on their foreheads, who can give you advise without asking you for a purchase.

Patients should now take an active participation in their treatments, and be able to discuss intelligently with their doctors. This we could do this better if we are well-informed. If your doctor does not give you the necessary information regarding your condition, and resents your participatory behavior, maybe it's time to look around for another physician. Again, I'm reminded of Hippocrates' maxim - "you are a fool if you are not your own doctor." To me, it makes a lot of sense. [read: Alarming Statistics on Physician's Misbehavior]

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