Today's Post: Monday, 1-25-2010
There are already many truly good doctors. I’ve had some and met some others. But many aren’t quite there yet. There are three reasons to be hopeful that better doctors are coming soon & for more people.
1. Last Wednesday, 1-20-2010, there was an article on the online HealthDay news that about 75% of current medical school students were at least open-minded or positive towards alternative medicine.
Their thinking seems to be that at least some of it seems to actually work to help people to get and stay well -- AND many people are willing to volunteer to use it – even when they have to pay out of pocket to do so.
That means that a doctor who knows what parts of alternative medicine actually work and which parts many people will do willingly -- will be able to more effectively help people to get and stay well.
There are many good doctors from those who already know a good bit about effective alternative medicine that works and already have seen good results using it to those who don’t know but are good doctors willing to work at making their patients well and are at least open-minded.
I was very fortunate to have such a doctor at Kaiser for a bit.
Unfortunately those doctors are still far from 75%.
But, this survey data suggests that in a few years, it will begin to be 75% of all doctors.
Since, I’ve seen excellent results in my own blood tests from using better eating, exercise, and supplements to get better readings and even excellent readings, I admit to a preference for 100 % of doctors knowing and using information similar to that which got me this kind of results.
(Based on my family history, my LDL would be over 160 if I ate like the average American. But even eating better and exercising regularly, it was 130. By increasing my niacin from 300 mg once a day to twice and adding 3 tablets of beta sitosterol supplements with sterols, it now consistently runs between 95 and 106.
Too many doctors today still would have looked at my family history & the 130 reading on my LDL and my age, & put me on statins. I’ve done as well with what I’ve done as statins likely would have on my LDL; and, from what I’ve read, my 90 and over HDL and under 50 triglycerides would NOT be as good. (Niacin improves those readings while statins tend not to do so.) Plus I’ve NOT had ANY worries about most of the side effects of statin drugs.
So, it’s really nice to see that about 75% of medical students look like they’ll use what they find out from patients like me or already know the information from their own study.
These are the doctors of tomorrow.
2. Dr Mark Hyman and others have begun to practice what he calls Integrated Medicine.
Instead of looking briefly at the symptoms and labeling them as a disease or condition and then prescribing a symptom removing drug, doctors will ask questions about diet and exercise and current stress levels and smoking PLUS use the blood tests and even, genetic tests, now in some cases, to see what current functions in the patient are not right or may not be right unless they are in the highly desirable range.
In that way, doctors can prescribe specific lifestyle changes, supplements, and drugs when necessary, to repair the CAUSES that particular patient has that are causing the current symptoms.
This kind of medicine is more custom-tailored to the patient. And, since it focuses on repairing or turning off the specific causes involved, it is usually more effective than a less accurate approach that only consists of using a general label. And best of all, it helps the patient prevent the problem from returning.
As this kind of medicine is more taught and practiced, more doctors will use it. And there will be more doctors who see their patients get well and stay well.
This too is beginning to happen.
The tests are here. This strategy is becoming more known. And more doctors know how to use lifestyle changes and supplements and which drugs are best and safest to add to those and when. My hope is that is on it’s way to becoming a way of practicing medicine used by almost all doctors.
3. In surgery and in some other parts of medicine, doctors already know how to do near magic things --but ONLY IF nothing out of over 10 variables goes wrong.
There’s a very important new book out on how using checklists every single time they should be used helps both rushed people with OK memories and people with so, so memories ALWAYS remember to do the critical stuff.
The author is someone called, Atul Gawande. His book is called, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right. It’s in hardcover & available at bookstores and on Amazon. He shows how in piloting technically advanced planes, surgery of all kinds, and in building construction, checklists make a job that is nearly undoable safely or reliably both safe and error free.
Since this approach has been tested in a hospital in a very economically disadvantaged neighborhood and in other places with extremely good results in preventing infections and lowering costs by avoiding mistakes, it’s virtually certain more doctors and hospitals will soon use it and be MUCH safer and effective for their patients because of it.