Wednesday, June 9, 2010
18 Areas of Improvement for Modern Medicine (Part 2)
Continuing on with the 18 Biggest Areas of Improvement with Modern Medicine (check out Part I if you missed it)...
(photo source: http://www.mitchellcommunityhealthpartnership.org)
7. We look for a magic bullet instead of all the possible factors that make up the total load which are causing the underlying imbalance. There is no understanding of the total load.
The magic bullet is often in the form of a pill. Strange that it sorta looks like a bullet too, huh? People consider pills to be "medicine" that are the end all be all and solves all of their issues when in reality, pills mask the symptoms of the underlying issue.
8. No belief that the body has a self-healing capacity and no ways to boost that capacity.
"Given half a chance, the body will heal itself." I believe that my teacher, Joshua Rosenthal, says it best. Time is often the best medicine. Water is probably second on the list. Our bodies are intelligent machines. It has adapted over hundreds and thousands of years to know when and how to heal cuts, self-regulate its temperature, and adjust our eyes to light (just to name a few examples). Symptoms like fevers and headaches should not be dismissed as issues but as signals and clues from the body that something is not in balance.
9. Everyone with the same disease gets treated the same way, patient uniqueness ignored.
People are individuals and our bodies are governed by a whole mess of factors. These include our parents, grandparents, genetics, ancestry, ethnicity, injuries we have experienced, bad habits we picked up, diet, and lifestyle. Our bodies are a combination of many factors and should be treated as individuals. For instance, I learned today that Asians naturally have straighter spines which makes total sense because the average Asian's body type is different from that of a European or a Black person.
10. We treat the disease, not the patient.
The cause of a disease, disorder, or discomfort is not the same for everyone, even though the body may have a similar reaction. For instance, stress, hormonal imbalance, allergies, and dehydration are all possible causes of a migraine. How can a cookie cutter prescription treat all of those causes? The patient needs to be part of a health consultation, not just their symptoms.
11. There is a reliance on numbers and tests rather than how the patient is feeling and what is found on examination.
Patients are classified into certain categories according to their weight, BMI, cholesterol level, heart beat, blood pressure, x-ray results, biopsies and other "measures of health." Just because someone may have a BMI of 26 does not necessarily mean that they are less healthy than someone with a BMI of 20.
12. We don’t take into account the importance of diet and lifestyle on health. How could we? We get a total of 6-8 hours of nutrition lectures in medical school.
This number absolutely ASTONISHES me! What we eat and how we live are central to our health! How can a doctor, someone that you entrust with your health, not have the knowledge to give you advice on eating and living healthier-the basics of living well? I think that we need to increase knowledge of diet and lifestyle throughout our population starting with healthcare practitioners!
Stay tuned for the last installment tomorrow!