“” don’t believe in medicine”

02/04/2009 at 11:08 AM 2 comments

Every once in a while I will get someone that doesnt “believe” in medicine. I never saw medicine in the same category as Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny or the Bible even–that you believe or not. That aside the patients usually think I will have a problem with them which I don’t. If they don’t want to take advantage of modern medical technology, hey, its their health*  You don’t see me chasing down an amish family and expounding on the benefits of the internal combustion engine. If they want to take 5 times as long to get somewhere in a much riskier vehicle- that’s up to them.

What really surprises me is that they came to me at all. Don’t they know that western medicine is the high priestess of Chemical cures and treatments?  This is what we do.( remember better living through chemistry?) what is their motivation to see me ? I generally end up spending extra time to figure it out. Rarely do I get a satisfactory answer. I also like to hear their motivations. Rarely do I get anything satisfactory there either. “everyone knows medicines are bad for you”  You have to take three pills to undo the side effects of the first one”. It would be nice if at least there was some objective thought to some of these statements.

*As a generality  these people are young and not only healthy but have always been healthy, so their commitment to avoiding medicine has not really been tested. Will they avoid chemo if they develop cancer, antibiotics if they get pneumonia? Do they want the random lifespan of people  who lived  over a 100 years ago?


Entry filed under: Doctor Musings.

Inner layperson part 2 Test humor

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. riki  |  06/02/2013 at 1:04 PM

    I Think that medicines are as good as the doctor that prescibe them.

    • 2. aliekat55  |  06/02/2013 at 3:27 PM

      Thanks for the comment, this is an excellent point that I believe is missed by today’s high tech, test driven medical system. It is not just the right medicine at the right time in the right patient but the relationship that the patient has with the doctor is just as important, if only so that they will take it appropriately.then there is the appropriate feedback to the doctor about how the medicine worked or did not work, the doctor’s openness to hearing this and making adjustments or even change directions.
      It reminds me of the old saw about how some doctors have a thousand experiences and others have the same experience a thousand times. People are far too complex for a simple symptom checkbox system to work.


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