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comment by coffeesp00ns
coffeesp00ns  ·  1646 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Who do you trust? Your Doctor or Your Psychic? - Conversation with My Sister

I have a very close friend who is like this. She's currently having a few health issues and her reliance on her Naturopath instead of a doctor really makes me afraid for her.

I think that a lot of people have a single negative experience with a doctor, and decide to go to some sort of alt-medicine route and they are greeted by someone with a smiling face and made welcome - it hooks them, even if it may not be good for them.

Not that all alt-medicine folks are bad news. I knew a guy who was a "chiropractor", but really was functionally a physiotherapist who also did low level chiropractic stuff. As opposed to a lot of Chiros who adjust you then let you go (knowing you'll come back because he just fixed the symptom not the issue), He'd give someone an adjustment and say "OK now, let's talk about what you can do in your daily life so that you don't look like a paper clip anymore, and here are some physio exercises to do to help keep you on track."

alt-medicine stuff has its place, but it is not a replacement for a doctor.

kleinbl00  ·  1645 days ago  ·  link  ·  

My wife got a degree in midwifery and naturopathic medicine because she gets to spend 90 minutes with patients.

I knew a psychiatrist who saw fifteen patients an hour.

For eight hours a day.

There's a great line in the movie Kandahar where the schlub American who ends up being the "doctor" for a Taliban-controlled village points out that the medical knowledge of the average college-educated Western citizen is greater than the average healer in Waziristan. Thing is, most people in the developed world can figure out what's wrong with them when it's the level of "oh shit I need to go to the doctor" stuff we deal with. When they can't, ANY medical practitioner is gonna have a tough time figuring it out in fifteen minutes. And fifteen minutes is what you get.

Into this gulf does alternative medicine jump.

Yes - not always bad. Often good. My wife is on the couch next to me right now rustling up bili lights for a baby that delivered early. She's run like 8 labs today alone. I watched her write a scrip for antibiotics before lunch. But up here she's plugged into the system, and she got into it because she wanted to help people not write ICD9 codes. Down in Cali she couldn't have done 2/3rds of those things and Cali is hella more integrated than most of the US.

Western medicine is crisis-oriented. If you have a gunshot wound there's nowhere you'd rather be than the US. But if you've got something lifestyle-oriented the US doesn't really know what to do with you other than prescribe drugs. Figuring out anything else takes time, and time can't be billed to insurance.

In an ideal world, the alt-medicine folx are doctors. But that upsets a lot of people.

coffeesp00ns  ·  1645 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    Western medicine is crisis-oriented.

I 100% agree, and agree with you that it's a problem. I also think that a lot of what you have described your wife does isn't "alt medicine". It's just medicine. Midwifery isn't alt-medicine, it's just medicine. Bili Lights (while being something I had to look up before I could say anything about) also are just medicine. It works.

Giving someone Oregano Oil to treat their depression is not medicine. Spending 90 minutes with them talking to them Is medicine, finding out how you can improve their lifestyle IS medicine. Time Line Therapy (tm) is not medicine.

What we need are more Nurse Practitioners and GPs. The problem is that these are lower paid positions and if you just spent however many years in med school you probably don't want to be a GP.

In Northern Ontario, the local medical school has a deal - We pay for you to go to school, you stay in Northern Ontario for X years (I forget. 5 maybe?). There is such a doctor shortage in the north that they needed to do it.

Nurse practitioners are great - they can prescribe meds, they can do just about everything a GP can with a few restrictions. there are some procedures they can't do, for example. The best part about them, however, is that you don't need a doctorate - the NP program functions like a Masters degree plus Clinical. This means less training time and fewer barriers to getting people into health care fields.

In my ideal scenario, someone like your wife would be qualified to be an NP or GP, with a practice focus on childbirth.

kleinbl00  ·  1644 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The fundamental issue is the discussion of "what's medicine" can't help but be political.

user-inactivated  ·  1646 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I think also, there is a fear forming of modern medicine due to all the recalls people see on TV, the scary list of potential side effects, the seemingly predatory nature of pharmaceutical companies, the bullshit that is our insurance system, etc. Alternative medicine could seem so appealing because it doesn't have any of that social stigma around it (just a different stigma). Additionally, it might also seem less potent which in the minds of people might equate to less risky.