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The Traditional Orthodox Allopathic Physician Part 2

The Traditional Orthodox Allopath is a doctor who was residency trained after medical school, follows established diagnosis and treatment standards in his or her practice, and features drugs as their major therapeutic intervention. These physicians are both predator and prey; they are predators in the sense that they need patients, and lots of them to satisfy the financial success of their practice; and they are prey in the sense that they are strongly driven to provide pharmaceutical therapies to their patients based on pharmaceutical industry studies. Surgeons are different in that they use surgical techniques to stabilize or cure disease as well as provide aesthetic augmentations. They are excluded from this discussion; however, they will be focused on in future newsletters and information bites. Many surgeons prefer that medical physicians provide medical treatment and pain control to those on whom they have operated. Each surgeon has his or her personal practice habit, and there is no established practice model.  

Today, the practice of medicine is unrestful for both the physician and the patient. Doctors are at the front line of a medical-war theater between the insurance companies, the drug companies, the hospitals and the patient’s needs. Pharmaceutical companies hire advertising firms to identify uses for their novel compounds and to create new uses for their old drugs. Physicians are given sophisticated drug commercials to satisfy their State mandated continuing medical education requirements, which allows them to maintain their medical license, while enhancing the likelihood that specific drugs will be prescribed for specific indications.  

The drug studies that are used to support the use of medications for specific diseases are conducted using a variation of the scientific method. The basic idea is to find a group of study patients who have very similar physical and/or emotional characteristics of a disease or disorder, keep as many life variables as possible stable, and then modify their disease symptomology by treatment with either an active compound or a placebo. The best studies keep the doctor and the patient in the dark as to what the patient is receiving as a treatment. Sophisticated statistics are used to analyze the clinical outcome data, and if all goes correctly, a drug will be shown to be more effective in alleviating the symptoms of a disease than a sugar pill.  

Once a study is considered successful, the drug manufacturer makes much about the success of the drug, and their drug representatives call on physicians to convince them to use their products over other products available to prospective patients.  Insurance companies embrace the scientific model, it allows them to accept or deny coverage of medications based on the FDA guidelines for approved drug therapy. The problem with that approach is that many diseases have no FDA approved drugs because there is not enough of the disease itself in the human population to make it profitable for a drug to gain an approved indication status for the disease. Therefore, physicians who treat uncommon diseases have no choice but to prescribe drugs off label and hope that insurance companies will cover them. Sadly, enough, most insurance companies deny reimbursement for the medications. Indirectly, insurance companies are insuring some disease treatments while denying treatment of other more uncommon diseases, regardless of the outcome of the patient.  

Drug companies have taken prescription drug therapy marketing one-step further by using television advertising to reach anyone who may suspect they have a certain disease, and encouraging them to ask their physician about a drug that may or may not be appropriate for their treatment. Magnifying the impact of these television-marketing techniques are physicians working in news media as reporters who promote the use of drugs in standard practice, and focus their reports on the newest drugs available for treatment of anything from obesity to hang nails. Newspapers carry syndicated columnists who recite orthodox views on treating a plethora of diseases, most of these medical interest columns are located on the same page as Billy Graham’s message for the day.  

It seems as if the practice of medicine has turned into a religious adventure with drug company deities, half-truths from drug studies, and a controlled standardized practice based on algorithms, and symptom outcome measures, instead of cures and compassion for those who seek to be cured. What makes matters worse is that “physician experts” are not really experts at diagnosing or treating disease, they are experts at reciting treatment algorithms and guidelines established by other experts in their field. None of them professes to be creative or remotely interested in finding the root of the problem, they are most interested in reciting what is accepted by those hierophants who share their training. What’s amazing is that via the internet, access to the most up-to-date guidelines for specific disease therapy is at the click or two of a mouse, no one needs to ever see an expert; they just have to get the proper diagnosis and then follow the accepted guidelines. The cycle feeds itself; the drug companies create the guidelines. There is no conspiracy, everyone actually believes they are doing the best they can for their patients. The problem is the model is wrong and disease is not linear, it’s fractal.  

The Traditional Orthodox Allopath will give his or her best care within the five minutes allotted per patient. The more common and precise someone’s diagnosis is, the easier and more successful treatment will be, as everyone has a handle on the most common and successful therapies, and medical insurance may actually pay for the prescriptions. But if you have a disease that is uncommon, the system will fail you as you are passed from Allopath to Allopath, specialists with only one view, one perspective of a sign or a symptom, will attempt to discover their perspective and if they fail, you will be passed on to another, and another and another. Ultimately, you will be considered psychologically imbalanced because what you have is beyond their grasp. In that they are all-knowing, it is you who must be deranged, out of order perhaps, and/or making your symptoms up for some special gain. Perhaps many patients will be clothed with the failures of their Traditional Orthodox Allopath physicians; patients will be dressed in the diagnosis of their presumed neuroticism until someone listens, takes time to figure it out and presents a change. That practitioner of change is not usually a Traditional Orthodox Allopathic Physician, but rather a thinker, healer, scientist and alchemist.  

There is no school of medicine to which they belong, they have transcended the rules and found the answers. They are few, but they are out there.  

Never give up, and don’t stop looking.  

Next: Experts who write the guidelines and how the guidelines are enforced.  


Posted by Katie Reed at 9:30 AM
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