The influence of the Pharmaceutical and Insurance Industries on Medicine.

The influence of the Pharmaceutical and Insurance Industries on Medicine.

In 1997 I was involved in an extremely serious and life-changing motorcycle accident. 

At the time of my accident, I was an elementary school teacher with one of my goals being to attend medical school to become a Clinical Child Psychiatrist. Back then I had the medical knowledge and experience with my own personal issues that motivated me to pursue a medical career. However, my high standards demanded that I get more experience working with children. So, I went to Teacher’s College to become a teacher (It was only a one year program back then – a small price to pay for me to get more experience to become an experienced child psychiatirst). 

My first teaching job was working in a specialized classroom for students with behaviour, learning and psychological problems. This gave me great exposure to the challenges that a child psychiatrist might face. 

It was in my 2nd year of teaching that I had my life changing motorcycle accident and was forced to re-examine my prospects with respect to a career in medicine. 

The severity of the physical injuries that I sustained has kept me as a patient for the past 22 years. Sitting on the opposite side of the desk where I had envisioned myself. 

My experiences as a patient have given me so much wisdom and taught me an enormous amount. 

Sadly, I have witnessed and experienced a dramatic change in healthcare, physician training and most importantly, patient care. 

Back during those years when I was applying to Medical school it was a doctor’s acute skill of observation, their ability to physically examine their patients as well as their deductive reasoning skills that were considered a doctor’s most essential diagnostic tools.

Unfortunately, this has now been replaced by a reliance on narrowly interpreted lab tests and lists of numerical diagnoses allowable by insurance plans.

Drugs or surgery are usually the only treatments offered by modern medicine, even when they are not needed. 

 If there is no known drug treatment or surgery available for your symptoms and if your illness does not show up on a lab test or it does not fit some diagnostic code, then the problem is not real and must be in your head. 

In addition to this problem, I was saddened to learn that today Medical doctors are constricted by medical licensing boards and the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries, not to mention their patients’ expectations of a quick recovery. 

As a result of these influences and a certain bias in their training, many doctors think and practice primarily pharmaceutical medicine, seeking to prescribe the appropriate drug for the condition. 

Because of the ever-present threat about malpractice suit and the conservative influence of peer review boards, some medical doctors have become much less willing and able to try something different to help their patients.

My advice is to follow the words of the great Dr. Seuss when he said the following:

“Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to great places! You’re off and away! You have brains in your head.  You have feet in your shoes.  You can steer yourself any direction you choose.   You’re on your own.  And you know what you know.  And YOU are the GUY who’ll decide where to go.”  

I love this quotation because it is telling us that we are in charge of our own lives. 

It reminds me that it’s our decisions, not the conditions of our lives that determine our destiny. 

It’s not what’s happening to me now or what has happened to me in my past that determines who I become. Rather, it’s my decisions about what to focus on and what I’m going to do that will determine my ultimate destiny.

The human body is a magnificent creation with very intelligent systems all working to keep you alive. Your body knows what to do to heal itself. Listen to your body and follow your intuition. Ultimately, my journey through life depends on me. 

Reference: “Adrenal Fatigue” By: James L. Wilson, N.D., D.C., Ph.D.

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