My last post was critical of the “drugs will keep me healthy” approach adopted by many Americans and often fostered by doctors. You may be wondering if I have joined the “pharmaceutical industry and traditional medicine are evil” bandwagon which is currently popular with self-appointed media experts and internet gurus. Absolutely not! Most every doctor I know treats patients with skill, integrity and compassion and does much good often prescribing medication, ordering high tech diagnostic tests and performing life altering surgeries. Does anyone really want to return to the days before immunizations, penicillin and anesthesia?
So what am I critical of in the way we commonly practice medicine? It’s that we have taken useful medications, tests and procedures and way over-utilized them often causing more harm than benefit and reducing incentive for behavior change. A classic and very pertinent example relates to the cholesterol lowering statin drugs which I mentioned in last week’s post and will present in more detail next week. Since these drugs have been demonstrated to halt or even reverse artery clogging plaques and have saved many lives, it’s tempting for healthy folks with risk for heart disease to take them preventatively without an understanding of risks or side-effects. The other extreme currently gaining popularity is to shun them entirely, exaggerating the risks and undervaluing the benefits.
Our goal at Trinity Medical/Vitalsigns is to find the wise middle ground using these meds where the benefit clearly outweighs the harm while keeping a laser focus on the lifestyle factors which consistently lead to good health. With this in mind, we are becoming experts in behavior change and providing folks with all the teaching, tools, and coaching they need to live robust, healthy lives free from medication and disease. Traditional medicine truly does need to be reformed in many ways but let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater.
(Editor’s note: Now that our Wellness Doc has broken down what we mean when we say “Medically Based Wellness” we would love to know if you have any questions regarding what you have read or if there is a concern in your life, in line with this blog, that he might be able to address in a future post? Please keep in mind that we will not be diagnosing any medical issues you might be having through this blog but we do invite the opportunity to discuss health and wellness with you!)