Monday, March 31, 2008

Another March Post

I found this interesting medical blog a couple months back. I have been meaning to link to it for some time now. I believe the best article I have read from it is this one. It talks about the problems between doctors and patients arising from differences in perspective. Of course, this is more about American health care than anything else. The blog often critiques various alternative medicine (including homeopathy, life energy stuff, acupuncture, chiropractic etc.) techniques. I think it's a valuable resource because in my younger days I was given to understand that some alternative medicine is legit. After spending some time studying the persuasive mumbo jumbo of "traditional healers" and remembering some of the things I have heard advocates of alternative medicine say I am convinced that most of them are frauds. The rest are well meaning quacks. The bottom line is that they advocate for treatments which are not based on science or any kind of clinical trials. Some of these treatments have been around for a couple hundred years without adjusting to the current body of biological knowledge. Don't be fooled.

The problem still remains, however, of the impersonal and rigid manner in which medical doctors treat patients. I have to say the eye rolling thing some doctors do when a patient refuses a treatment is just plain annoying. I hate it when my doctor corrects me before I have finished my thought. Not that he does that very often, he's a pretty nice guy. But still I am not some idiot patient who isn't going to listen to the doctor because I think he's in some sort of conspiracy to poison me. Something else I dislike about doctors is when they fail to finish their thought. They say something like, "Maybe you've had asthma for years and didn't know it." Then they stop and never explain the statement. So annoying. Then there's the propensity to treat people like they are hypochondriacs if their symptoms do not match with others. Who doesn't hate that? Why can't doctors assume that some of us just don't fit into the definitions of normal? I, for example, rarely have side effects from medications other than dry mouth. It's weird, but it's me. However, I did have a very bad reaction to a certain asthma med known as Singulair. Several times my doctor has asked me what happens when I take Singulair because I listed in my profile that I am allergic to it. After I get done explaining that it causes me to have asthma attacks he gives me this look which says, "I don't quite believe you." I would add that my doctor is probably one of the nicest MDs I have ever met. If even he has some of the annoying tendencies than it is no wonder people are often inclined to seek out methods of treatment based more on the personality administering the treatment than the science -- or lack thereof -- behind it.


Amber said...

I'm pretty sure I've heard of legal matter about Singulair...although I can't remember what it was about specifically. Seems it has caused bad things though!

Esther said...

Yeah, but that has something to do with suicidal ideation. I didn't have a psychological response to it, I just almost died from asthma attacks. That's the thing with asthma: meds need to be very specific because something that helps one person could kill another.