In the old days, a doctor would be able to have lengthy office sessions with a patient when he or she came in for a checkup or to complain of pain or illness. The doctor could spend time with the patient and really listen to what he or she was saying. They could work together to make a determination on how to proceed. A prescription pad was reserved for extreme illness, with doctors trying to find other ways to make a patient feel better. Rest, proper nutrition, and fluids were frequently the best remedy.
That doesn't happen much anymore. Doctors have only a few minutes to spend with each patient, and it is easier and faster to write a prescription for something that will alleviate the complaints. Next patient, please!
Our prescription-mad medical culture actually contributes to our feeling unwell. We never really get better; we just mask our symptoms. We don't follow a commonsense approach to medicine, because taking a pill is easier. But we are not feeling better, and we are frustrated with the downward spiral of our health.
Published on January 29, 2009