The living puzzle we call our body.

As always, I am constantly trying to come up with the wording to help people understand the difference between what I do and what happens at a typical medical doctors office.

This morning the following analogy came to mind.  I would love your input.  Does this help explain things, or does it just make it more confusing?

Your body is made up of trillions of cells.  These cells are arranged into tissues, organs and organ systems that work together to perform the various activities needed to keep the community (body) alive.  Think of it as a complex moving puzzle.  

When you go to a typical medical doctor with a problem s/he is going to perform a series of exams that may include blood work, xrays, sonograms, MRIs, and other tests.  The purpose of these exams is to take the puzzle apart and look at the smaller pieces more closely to try and determine what exactly is causing your discomfort.  Their entire system is based on this reductionist model of the body.  Their preferred treatments are based on taking over for what ever piece of the puzzle isn’t working right with external chemical or surgical interventions. 

What i do is interview you to see where you’ve been, where you are now, and where you want to go with the remainder of your life.  I perform a few orthopedic and neurological tests to get your body to show me what it is dealing with.  Then I set about restoring things to a more natural configuration, allowing the innate intelligence of the body to regenerate itself into a more vigorous and happy formation moving forward.  

Sometimes aggressive intervention is necessary.  But I have found over the years, most of the time, my methods are much more likely to produce a happy outcome in both the short and long term with far fewer side effects and subsequent illness.

Prescribing Trends: Not a Pretty Picture

There are safe, cheap effective alternatives for all chronic conditions people suffer with. We need to split modern medicine into two parts.

The American ER is top notch. 

Prescribing patented chemicals to suppress the symptoms of chronic decay is not you best option. Ask me for details.

“Spending on prescription drugs in the Unites States has risen nearly 6-fold since 1990, reflecting substantial increases in treatment of chronic conditions and subsequent polypharmacy. As many as 45% of Americans have at least 1 diagnosed chronic condition, and 60% of the most prescribed medications were for hypertension, high cholesterol levels and diabetes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 11% of the US population and 40% of people older than age 60 take 5 medications or more.”

 

Prescribing Trends: Not a Pretty Picture.

When Government Plays Doctor

This week, concerns about swine flu have dominated the media and many government officials.  While the American people should be made aware of infectious diseases and common sense preventative measures, much of the hysterical reaction from government only serves to remind us how detrimental to your health it can be when government plays doctor.

As a physician, I have yet to see any evidence that justifies the current level of alarm.  Influenza typically kills around 36,000 people every year in this country and hospitalizes a couple hundred thousand.  So far there are only a handful of confirmed deaths attributable to this strain, and most of those sickened have or will fully recover.  Every death is tragic, but I see no reason to deal with this flu outbreak any differently than we typically deal with any other flu season.  Instead, government in its infinite wisdom is performing even more invasive screening at airports, closing down schools and sporting events, and causing general panic.

We had a similar outbreak in 1976, with only 1 death from the flu, but mandatory vaccinations killed at least 25 before the program was abandoned.

When government gets involved in healthcare decisions, the cure is so often worse than the illness.  And yet, this administration will likely consolidate the government’s power over your health with sweeping new reforms that are already being discussed in the Senate.

Government has not improved healthcare, and has not made it cheaper.  Quite the opposite; costs have skyrocketed, and quality has gone down in many ways.  Gone are the days of the country doctor making house calls, or of voluntarily giving away medical services at charity hospitals.  The bureaucratization of healthcare these past 45 years has made things worse.  It saddens me as a doctor that physicians are less and less accountable to patients, but more and more accountable to government red tape, insurance companies and attorneys.  It seems so perverse to me that important medical decisions that will directly affect the lives of all or nearly all Americans are being hashed out behind closed doors in Washington rather than between doctors and patients.

There is perhaps nothing more valuable to a human being than his or her health, which is why I’ve always considered the practice of medicine so crucial to our well-being.  Any intrusion by government into the privacy and trust between doctor and patient is detrimental to the art of medicine.  It distorts the whole dynamic of who the client really is when doctors must answer more to government or insurance companies than to their patients.  The best solutions to improving quality and lowering costs of healthcare would be measures that put decisions back into the hands of patients and doctors, where they rightfully belong.  I have introduced HR 1495 The Comprehensive Healthcare Reform Act, which promotes health savings accounts and tax deductibility of healthcare costs as an important step in this direction.

The unfortunate reality of this recent health crisis, as with any crisis, is that it presents opportunities that the unscrupulous will take advantage of, while the fearful become more compliant.