(NaturalNews) I wrote the following article almost 40 years ago in my third year of medical school. It was published in The Tupper Times, Dalhousie Medical School, December 1976. I think the only reason I wasn't kicked out of med school was because nobody was around for the Christmas holidays when it was published!
What I said then is still included in what I say now. But nothing has changed for the better in our health care system; it's actually gotten worse.
Are there any solutions?
Knowing that we are being left to our own devices in terms of health care more than ever before; knowing that the Obama health care system will befall us and we will be forced to pay even more for drugs and surgery that we don't want; knowing all that and having watched allopathic medicine devolve over the past four decades, my first solution was to create an online wellness program called Future Health Now! However, most people don't want to, or don't have the energy, or don't have the time to make lifestyle changes. The ones that do follow my program experience tremendous benefits.
For those who want more, I began working with iON and creating RnA Drops and ReMag and encouraging people to "take your own power" in a way that affects their physical, non-physical and the labyrinth of their mind. The results of those endeavors have been astounding. You can follow me on RnA Drops and How iONic and RnA Radio.
Before you research my future solutions to the health care crisis for 2013 and beyond, take a nostalgic trip with me to the past and read what I said to my fellow medical classmates in 1976.
HAND SIGNALS FOR THE BLIND*
We are fast approaching the age of Defensive Medicine. In the United States especially, a Medical student learns this art along with his medicine. This basic mistrust in the doctor-patient relationship came when the intimacy in medicine slipped away and the drugs and technology took hold; when obliteration of symptoms became the goal; when people no longer were given any place in helping to cure themselves and medical knowledge became a guarded fort; and when death became the enemy.
All these things merit careful consideration and thought by medical students because in the near future the public is going to demand from doctors a much more emancipated view toward medicine in which there is an availability of alternative treatments. In the recent past we have seen several therapies go through the stages of faddism in the lay press: acupuncture, herbal medicine, health foods, orthomolecular medicine (megavitamin therapy), and foot reflexology to name a few. Unfortunately these methods, some of which have been used successfully for hundreds of years, are touted as The Answer, The Wonder Cure, which designation immediately polarizes people.
Then the next stage of critical observation reveals that it is indeed not 100% effective in particular areas for which it is prescribed and the balloon bursts and the furor dies down. Over and over the point is missed. The point being that some people are benefited by these treatments, therefore to them it is 100% effective.
This is where fitting the treatment to the individual, not fitting the individual to the treatment, comes in. Presumably, the reason why orthomolecular medicine is rejected by psychiatrists is that it has proved no more effective than presently used drugs. To me, "no more effective" implies, again, the search for The Drug, The Cure, and also implies that orthomolecular medicine does have some effect. So, why not give it a trial in likely patients, especially since modern psychiatric drugs used chronically (are they used any other way?) cause a high incidence of dangerous irreversible side effects, as well as untold minor side effects.
We are forever being told we must weigh the balance of the side effects of all drugs against their potential benefits, but when you read of the minimal side effects of megavitamins, you, too, might question why they are not being accepted.
Those who can point to studies which do not prove that megavitamin therapy is useful in the treatment of schizophrenia invariably select studies where only one particular vitamin is tested. But the basis of orthomolecular therapy is the combined use of many different vitamins, notably niacinamide, B6, vitamin C, as well as minerals.
One of the main rebuttals I get against the use of vitamins is that if they are so good, why aren't more doctors using them? This would seem to be a naive view of the actual political realities of our lives.
If one takes a good look at the chaos surrounding us, one should more accurately assume that "the worst," not "the best," takes precedence. Here I am particularly referring to the controlling force of the pharmaceutical companies who get fat off our sickness. Of course, these companies could also sell vitamins but the competition is too great. It is much better to have a patent like La Roche's Valium and Librium which earns them billions per year.
These companies also spend a couple thousand dollars per doctor per year to set the trends in medical drug therapy. And don't kid yourselves that they don't. After all, who funds most of the research in drug therapy? You guessed it. So, here we have a huge industry telling doctors what to prescribe; encouraging the public to think that there is a pill for everything and, low and behold, over the doctor's desk, the magic clicks, the prescription exchanges hands. The choreography is perfect, each doctor at the end of puppet strings.
Then the doctor is judged by these very drugs so he must defend them, and the patient, who, according to biological laws, has a great chance of not responding to a particular drug, demands another drug, consequently searching for the perfect one.
The pharmaceutical companies are also seeking the perfect drug. But there is no perfect drug.
And the longer people search for one, the more iatrogenicies will arise from drug interactions and less and less proper testing of drugs. Just observe the clamor for swine flu vaccinations. And "so what" if 42 people drop dead after receiving them. The only justification people can seem to come up with is "oh, they were old" or "they would have died of the flu anyway."
Or the appalling fact that in a 3-week hospital admission, a patient will receive an average of 13 different drugs; the side effects of which would probably fill a book and the interactions cannot even be computed. What on earth makes us think some foreign chemical will solve all our problems anyway? Of course, antibiotics are extremely important but hark back to a certain introductory lecture on antibiotics which states that the bacteria are halted by antibiotics but eventually the host immune system does the final clearing up. My simple question is: why keep tipping the scales on one side? Why not balance them by improving the host's defenses along with the giving of antibiotics? There are many studies showing that vitamin A and vitamin C especially boost immune response.
With the advent of sulfa drugs and penicillin, I suppose one can understand and sympathize with those who thought patients could be cured by killing off the germs causing disease. These successes unfortunately led to the race for drugs for everything. It will take a long while for that thinking to change; to tackle the complexities of subclinical deficiency states; to understand the use of vitamin C in neutralizing toxins; vitamin E in improving tissue oxygenation; bioflavins in treating capillary fragility; B6 and magnesium in treating kidney stones; tryptophan in treating depression; and niacinamide in lowering cholesterol. I could go on and on mentioning a multitude of breakthrough studies which to me indicate possible hope in the future of alternative forms of therapy without the horrendous side effects which are so widely accepted because people think that there are no alternatives.
It is no secret that we learn next to nothing about nutrition in medical school. And since we go through mountains of information in our education, I think we tend to assume that we have hit on everything that is important; so nutrition can't be important or we would have had it. Right? However, it is because we grow up in this society learning about drugs and medications, not about nutrition. We are pounded by ads from all corners that make us very sensitive to any ache or pain we have and lure us into a pit of Faust.
We, in effect, give up our bodies to the drug industry. We are beguiled into believing we can live in excess - excess of alcohol, food, junk food, stress, cigarettes. They all exact their toll on the body. But we are led to believe the doctor will fix us up whenever our bodies begin to collapse around us. And doctors do nothing to dispel this myth, so the expectation in patients turns to inevitable disenchantment when he/she isn't quickly cured.
Within the first month of medical school it was made quite obvious in lectures that our duty as doctors is to make people more comfortable in their illness. So where and when did this notion arise? I can't state dogmatically why but I can suggest how it is perpetuated.
First of all, there is almost no push by doctors for education of the public in simple health matters. The reason presumably being: "How on earth can a doctor give out advice to his patients when he sees 30 or 40 each day?" I put this remark in quotation marks because, in one form or another, I hear it regularly in lectures and in the hospital.
To me, the idea of trying to effectively treat so many people in so short a time is appalling. First of all, it is impossible to do so. It is an excuse for too frequent referrals and too frequent revisits and serves to completely depersonalize the doctor-patient relationship and does not allow for patient education.
I get many arguments when I suggest 45-minute sessions for each patient. Those who don't want to betray their materialistic motives argue that the patient load is so great that you must see that many patients. But if you don't make appointments for 40 people, you are not likely to have to see 40! And the extra time spent with the patient can help to identify social, dietary and environmental factors which can be circumvented to prevent frequent visits and frequent repeat prescriptions.
Also, what makes doctors think that their time is so valuable and their patient's time so invaluable that they can with a clear conscience keep people waiting for hours before they are seen?
Of course, as long as doctors get rewarded for keeping people sick and dependent on them, things are not likely to change. How about the much more civilized approach of the Chinese whose doctors are paid only while their patients are well and they don't get paid when they are ill. Similar clinics are being set up in California, and this is one fad I would like to see spread. Then, and only then, will doctors take more interest in achieving optimum health for the individual.
Here the emphasis is on the individual. Just as no two people look alike, no two enzyme profiles are alike, and common sense would eventually lead one to believe that, therefore, the vitamin or coenzyme requirements would differ from person to person. How is it possible then that minimum daily requirements can be standardized, especially since the dosage recommended is based on the amount required to prevent clinical symptoms of deficiency? To me, this is quite the opposite way to look at vitamin requirements.
One should instead try to determine the amount which produces optimum health. Besides for optimum health, vitamins are more and more coming to the fore in the treatment and prevention of a multitude of diseases. Take, for example, a recent study in Japan which observed the effects of vitamin C on post-transfusion hepatitis. Of 1,245 persons who had received blood transfusions after chest surgery, seven percent of those who received little or no vitamin C came down with hepatitis. But none of the patients who received 2,000 milligrams or more per day of vitamin C got hepatitis. And since the group receiving vitamin C was seven times larger than the group which got no vitamin C, the protective effect of the vitamin was obvious. As a result of that study, all surgical and intensive-care patients in this Japanese hospital now receive 6 to 10 grams of vitamin C each day (Modern Medicine, July 1, 1976.)
I invariably get the retort from doctors and my peers that when they see studies on the benefits of vitamins, they will believe them. Well, Dr. Wilfred E. Shute, a famed Canadian physician, has been working since 1936 on the use of vitamin E in heart disease, and in a recent article he stated that since his original article in 1936, the beneficial results he achieved with vitamin E on heart disease have been duplicated no less than 150 times and published in scientific journals.
The same can be said for many of the other vitamins. If one cares to look, the studies are available. And this well-worn excuse will have to be discarded, or, more probably, replaced by another. But please don't use the feeble attempt of a Digby doctor who told an elderly patient that, "No, you do not need any vitamin supplements, they are O.K. for young people, but older people don't need them."? What is interesting though is to hear from the owners of the health food stores in Halifax of the many doctors and their families who keep well stocked on their health foods. But when asked if they also recommend this regime to their patients, they quote the "lack of sufficient studies" excuse. ?It would appear rats are getting a better deal than humans. Under a Cruelty to Laboratory Animals Law, rats are not permitted to be fed junk foods in experiments to determine effects of different diets on their systems. But these deadly foods are highly esteemed in our society as a reward to both children and adults. What a paradox!
In effect, the practical solution is allowing alternative models to function in the existing medical superstructure. But this suggestion will most likely be considered, like the one-eyed king in the land of the blind, as wildly hallucinating. Meanwhile, today the medical bureaucrat seizes up on the controls as the horizon of medicinal options widens.**
*The title was provided by my husband, Bob, from a play he had written that year. **This last paragraph was written by Bob.
About the author: About the author: Dr. Carolyn Dean is The Doctor of the Future. She is a medical doctor and naturopathic doctor in the forefront of the natural medicine revolution since 1979.
She has two published patents on novel health products such as RnA Drops, ReMag, ReLyte, ReNew and ReAline at www.RnADrops22.com.
Dr. Dean is the author/coauthor of over 30 health books (print and eBooks) including The Magnesium Miracle, Death by Modern Medicine, IBS for Dummies, IBS Cookbook for Dummies, The Yeast Connection and Women's Health, Future Health Now Encyclopedia, Death by Modern Medicine, Everything Alzheimers, and Hormone Balance.
She is on the Medical Advisory Board of the non-profit educational site - Nutritional Magnesium Association (www.nutritionalmagnesium.org). Her magnesium recommendations can be found under Resources on her website.
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