What's Wrong with Healthcare and Medicine Today?

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My training is in internal medicine, I'm a board certified internist and then I'm also a board certified endocrinologist and I specialize in neuroendocrinology. So what kept me up then was the fact that you could have two patients who saw the same physician about the same treatment, had the same illness, but could have completely different outcomes so this person could die this person could go on to recover and be perfectly fine.

My own field was neuroendocrinology, so this is 1970s I started to see the connection between consciousness that misuses rem which is totally subjective and biology because we were discovering the molecules of emotion. At that time that's all we referred to them as opiates, serotonin, dopamine, oxitocin and many more, I became convinced that we were missing something in mechanistic medicine.

So conventional medicine is about mechanisms of illness, and we try and find out what the mechanisms are then we interfere with them. So if the bacteria multiply, interfere with that with an antibiotic. Cancer cells replicate, intefere with that with chemotherapy radiation. It's mechanistic it works, but it doesn't go to the origins of illness and ofcourse it never address the origins of well being or health, which are not even the origins of illness.

Mechanistic medicine is great if I break my leg or I have pneumonia, but unless we address the deeper origins of illness which have to do with how we live our life basically and what it means to us, we'll never be able to solve illness in our society, the problem of illness. We replace old epidemics with new ones, and the older ones start to come back, so I thought of home, next few years tuberculosis, malaria, smallpox will all be eradicated but it's coming back even in affluent countries.

Then we have the problem that 36% of our patients in hospitals are suffering from iatrogenic disease which is disease because you took some drug or you're prescribed a medication, the numberone cause of drug addiction in the world is not street drugs but medical prescriptions.

The number one cause of death is prescriptions, narcotics as prescriptions not street drugs. The most devastating infections are hospital acquired, nosocomil infections resistant to antibiotics. Immunocompromised hosts with chemotherapy are susceptible to all kinds of other illnesses we don't necessarily prolong life, we just prolong misery in many cases, which is not to say that mechanistic intervention is not good.

It is, but 80% of what we prescribe is of optional or marginal benefit. Which means, if we didn't use it, it wouldn't make a bit of difference to the natural history of the disease, it would save a lot of money and a lot of side effects. So, that's what's wrong, we do not address the relationship between emotions and illness between lifestyle, sleep, exercise, diet, nutrition, between relationships, between social well being, community well being, between even bigger things like financial well being, imperial well being, all of which have a huge impact on what happens in our biology.

The biology is the end-product of all this. And now when I started talking about mind-body medicine 30 years ago, it was intuitive but now you can see there's no mental event that doesn't have a brain representation. There's no brain representation that doesn't have a physiological representation, in this little computer that we have is influenced by thoughts, feelings, emotions, breathing, heart rate variability, stress, personal relationships, social interactions, environment, the forces of nature, diet, nutrition, phytochemicals.

It's way way too complicated so our standard interventions, pharmaceuticals and surgery basically and radiation whatever, still pharmaceuticals. It's so incomplete.