7 Deadly Sins of Medicine

Recently I was reading a newsletter that I subscribe to, and they alluded to “Medicine’s 7 Deadly Sins”. It made me stop to think about the state of modern medicine, and I felt the need to share my thoughts with you!

Here’s a summary of what I’ve re-named “The *7* Deadly Sins of Mainstream Medicine”:

Sin #1: Biased funding

The funding for almost all the studies done in the healthcare field comes from the pharmaceutical industry, aka “Big Pharma”. You rarely see any independent studies done. Why? First of all, it’s expensive to conduct studies, and outside of big industry, who has that kind of cash to spend? Secondly, who would publish the results? (see Sin #2)

Sin #2: Biased reporting in medical journals

If you look closely at the disclosures of the authors of these articles, you will see that their study was likely funded by the same company who makes the drug that they were “studying”. Hmmm, if you were getting paid by a company to evaluate their drug, would you say that it doesn’t work? Highly unlikely!

Sin #3: Biased patient pamphlets

Patient pamphlets are written to boost the few positive effects of a medication while barely mentioning, even ignoring, the negative. The negative side effects are usually written in extremely tiny print on the back of the brochure, making it highly unlikely that anyone will even read it! Sounds similar to what they do with their TV ads, doesn’t it? Which leads us to…

Sin #4: Biased reporting in the media

The same thing that is done for print marketing is now being used in television and radio. Advertising of medications is so prevalent, many patients practically walk into their doctors’ offices demanding specific medications, as these media ads clearly tell the viewer/listener to “Ask your doctor about Drug X” or “Ask your doctor about a free trial”. These ads show people down and in the dumps whose lives turn happy and joyous after taking these medications. And the soothing music downplays the serious negative side effects so they don’t even register. Who can resist?

Sin #5: Conflicts of interest

Again, many doctors are paid by the pharmaceutical companies to do these studies. Industry-wide, doctors are rewarded or given incentives to prescribe certain medications over others. Recently with the scrutiny into kickbacks, the medical industry has begun to be more cautious about the appearance of conflicts of interest, and doctors have to disclose any financial interests that they are gaining from the pharmaceutical companies.

Sin #6: Defensive medicine

Due to the litigation-happy atmosphere that abounds in this country, most doctors practice CYA (Cover Your A@#)medicine. They prescribe costly, unwarranted, and potentially harmful, tests and then give the patient a pill to pop! And due to the Internet and Sin #4, patients have a tendency to self-diagnose. Many doctors are reluctant to stand up to these patients who think they know everything because they read it on the internet, or heard it on Dr. Oz. When the patient comes in wanting a pill, it’s just easier for the doctor to prescribe it rather than argue about it. And as long as it won’t harm the patient, who is the wiser?

And the one that irks me the most…

Sin #7: Medical curricula that fail to teach doctors how to comprehend health statistics

How about teaching doctors how to LISTEN to the patient and use their medical training to actually diagnose? Medical students today are too reliant upon gadgets, such as the Physician’s Desk Reference on their hand-held device. Their idea of practicing medicine now is to type in symptoms and see what medication pops up! Can schools do something different for a change and teach their students how to actually think!!!

Sadly, there are many natural alternatives to improve health that are available to everyone, but will never be publicized because of the influence of Big Pharma and the billions of dollars that are at stake!