Thank God for the internet. Without it I am not sure I could ever get any real answers about my health. Sure, I have a “primary care physician” and I actually like her quite a lot. The problem is that she is much like most of the other “mainstream” physicians out there. My health insurance provider is generally willing to pay their agreed upon share for any tests or procedures she recommends because, as much as I like her, she’s part of the problem with medicine in the western world. I like to refer to it as revolving door medicine.
Why revolving door medicine? Well, my impression of how practitioners conduct themselves today makes me feel like I am being hustled in and out of the doctor’s office in an effort that lacks any real effort to uncover the true causes of my medical problems so that time is not wasted on me that could be devoted to getting another paying customer through the door. After all, there are more than enough pharmaceutical concoctions for all!
That seems to be how it goes, doesn’t it? You show up at your doctor’s office with some kind of problem and they spend 15 minutes or so figuring out whether they need to send you for tests, shuffle you off to a specialist with a referral or break out the prescription pad and set you up with a magical “solution” to your problem courtesy of Big Pharma.
I am well aware that we have one of the best, if not the best medical care here in the U.S. if you are are having a real emergency. Our medical professionals are experts when it comes to saving people who are seriously injured or sick and need immediate medical attention. Although I have no real complaints about emergency medical care, I don’t care much for “standard” medical care that feels like the quick in-and-out style of emergency room care. It would be nice of someone would take the time to actually figure out what is wrong with me when I show up with a complaint.
My displeasure with how the system has been working for me started, I think, when my doctor started to note that my blood pressure seemed to be creeping up over time. I give her a lot of credit for not trying to push medication on my right away and trying to work with me to lower it over time through behavior modification. That didn’t work so after a while, we agreed that I would start taking blood pressure medication.
The answer I could not get from her was the reason for my condition. I would like to know why I have high blood pressure because I think the answer to that would help me understand the best way to address it. That’s information I just do not seem able to obtain. When I do ask I am just given a list of “possible” reasons for my high blood pressure. Shouldn’t it be a doctor’s job to find out why I have a particular condition?
I don’t really blame my doctor because I know she is a product of her training. She operates the way she is expected to operate by her corporate employer and their interest is to get as many paying customers in and out through the revolving door as quickly as it can be done. These days there’s a pill for just about everything and I am sure that really speeds things up and also puts some customer money into the already-bulging pockets of the pharmaceutical industry,
I am not saying our current revolving door medical system is useless. I have actually benefited from seeing my doctor a few times like when the antibiotics she prescribed for me cleared up a rather nasty lung infection a few years ago. I also find the testing they do for me on a yearly basis pretty useful. What I miss is the time and effort that would be required to actually understand each patient and uncover the root causes of their problems rather than just throwing pills at them.
I suspect I am moving closer and closer to seeking out a good functional medicine or more naturopathic physician for my medical care. I scoured my health insurance provider’s website recently, but not surprisingly, they don’t partner with those kinds of medical practitioners and choose to stick with the revolving door practitioners only.
I have the feeling my medical care is eventually going to start costing me a hell of a lot more money soon but it may be worth it to have a physician that takes the time to understand my individual needs and is willing to spend the necessary time to uncover the real causes of my medical problems. I think doctors that operate in that realm try to solve medical problems properly instead of relying solely on potentially dangerous concoctions developed by Big Pharma primarily to generate profits and are usually accompanied by a litany of unwanted side effects. There doesn’t seem to be any other way to obtain the kind of care I want.