For the last 5 years I have had the privilege to work with hundreds (if not thousands) of MD physicians. I can tell you that no one is more hard working and dedicated to our personal well-being than many of today’s doctors.
With that said, I will also tell you that “western medicine” physicians are under more pressure and scrutiny than ever before. In this article I will list several factors you should consider before putting all of your trust in physicians trained in western techniques. I will also provide an informal comparison between MD physicians, and doctors trained in holistic and alternative approaches.
The ultimate goal of this article is to help you see the importance of 1) taking responsibility for your own health and 2) expanding the breadth of those you seek healthcare from. Here are several things to consider about our medical system:
• In medical school, western doctors are primarily taught how to 1) recognize symptoms 2) operate 3) and prescribe medications. Where Western
medicine is primarily focused on treating symptoms, alternative practices look at the whole body. To a holistic doctor, symptoms are just inflammation caused by imbalance somewhere in the overall being. Their mission to locate the root cause and THEN offer treatment.
• Western physicians are wonderful in emergency situations and at diagnosing internal injuries with great speed! This is where the technology and medical training can really benefit our personal well-being. Holistic practitioners use more ancient and timeless remedies for illness, and are therefore more effective in non-emergency situations. Furthermore, alternative medicines may not be as immediately noticeable as western treatments, but it does not mean they don’t work!
• Western physicians are influenced by the pharmaceutical industry, while holistic doctors have virtually no interaction with drug companies. A holistic doctor may offer herbs, vitamins, or some form of physical activity as a treatment. For information about the potential dangers of pharmaceuticals, please read my article 8 Realizations About the Pharmaceutical Industry.
• The administrative duties of being an MD physician have become nightmarish, and western physicians are forced to spend significant time dealing with insurance and reimbursement issues. Holistic physicians deal much less with insurance/reimbursement because their practices are typically not a part of these systems.
• Statistically, almost every western doctor will get sued at lease once during his/her career. Holistic physicians have a significantly lower chance of malpractice claims as they do not perform surgery or prescribe pharmaceuticals (which are the major causes of lawsuits).
• Because of the nature of western medicine, doctors are under constant pressure to learn the latest technologies (which is increasing exponentially and very time consuming). Most holistic practices are based on ancient methodologies, and typically do not spend countless hours learning new technology.
• Western physicians spend less time per patient than ever. Because of the “time contraint” issues listed above, Holistic physicians spend significantly more time per patient than MD doctors.
Many of the points I make in this article suggest there are a great many benefits to hearing what a holistic practitioner has to say. The one negative aspect is that in our current healthcare system, most insurance plans will not “cover” these types of office visits.
This is certainly a very real deterrent, and I realize many people do not have the means to pay out-of-pocket for these services. One thing I can suggest is looking into opening a Health Savings Account (HSA) which allows you to open a savings account that is solely used for medical purposes. The benefit is that all contributed funds are tax-deductible! This is an incredible new tool the government has provided for us, and most HSA’s allow alternative services as part of the plan!
In all, it is absolutely necessary for each of us to take more responsibility for our health and well-being. Eating well, exercising, and having meaningful relationships are wonderful methods for never having to see ANY kind of physician. However, if you are forced to seek medical advice, get a few opinions. See a few MD doctors AND a few holistic ones and THEN make the determination what the best course of action is…I hope this helps!
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