A doctor questions dogma (belief systems) in health care. Do doctors really know best and where do all those test lead?
After years of being in healthcare, you see many crazy practices and recommendations that are going to save us from our eventual fate. New studies question many of the preventative tests regularly done, with the problem being that we save very few, yet screen hundreds, while harming some in the process. Medicine as a profession is an apprenticeship where doctors follow doctors to learn how to diagnose and treat medically. They are taught beliefs, habits, and the reward of finding and naming that obscure disease.
Recently, information has shown many of the preventative tests harm more than they help, with the belief that if we save just one life, it is worth it even though many have been harmed while costs have escallated. Some doctors in light of this new information are beginning to digest what it means and adjust their practices and their patient advice accordingly. Others clearly did many of these test with the profit as the motive and had been part of the problem of costs (which are rapidly being shifted to the public) and yet others do them to avoid possible lawsuits.
As a member of the public who consumes health care, and realizing that doctors are largely dogmatic, to get the most effective health care, and avoid what cannot work, I clearly need to do my research and understand what is possible, what is not and what is hype. There are many snake oil salesmen out there who would love to get my insurance card and bill away with the basis of saving my life. Being middle aged, I have a deep appreciation for life and everyday is a gift. The realities are that many of us have destinys that are outside the scope of what medical practice can realistically offer, and I am better off worrying about how to live greatly, than my own mortality, since my own mortality is something I have little control over. I can control how I live, how I exercise, how I eat and the relationships I keep and how I give back to the communities I serve. Why worry about things I cannot control through the use of doctors who admittedly have little control of my own mortality as well? In my own mind, I will worry about it if I have to.
A NY times writer explores why even with all this new and valid information, the practices will likely change little, because of the dogma (belief systems) that were ingrained in the doctors when they were trained. Check it out here.
The Trouble With ‘Doctor Knows Best’
By PETER B. BACH, M.D.
Published: June 4, 2012
Doctors were told last month that we should stop doing so many screenings for prostate cancer with the prostate-specific antigen test. We learned that sigmoidoscopy is a cheaper, easier and effective alternative to colonoscopy for colon cancer screening. And a study I led turned up strong evidence that routine lung cancer screenings are justified only for people at high risk because of heavy smoking in the past.
Regular mammograms aren’t necessary for women in their 40s and are needed only every two years for women ages 50 to 74, the United States Preventive Services Task Force has decided. For many women, Pap smears are required only every three years, not every year, the group also says now.
read on here