The family doctor has traditionally been a reliable figure that parents and children alike could trust for good judgment and to oversee their family’s healthcare. Most people just assume that the education and training that doctors undergo assures them that they use the best of their judgment and that the health practices and drugs administered to patients are the unquestioned latest and correct advice. Unfortunately, this belief in the family doctor is in many ways a misperception. In many instances doctor’s judgment has been compromised by the overwhelming one-sided education they are being given by the giant pharmaceutical conglomerates. The result is unnecessary medication use, poor outcomes and sometimes dangerous results for patients all to satisfy the drug company’s insatiable need to make a buck and keep their stock price up.
From the day your doctor enters medical school his view of the world of medicine is shaped in large part by pharmaceutical companies. Most major teaching hospitals and university medical programs are heavily subsidized by pharmaceutical companies. Tens of millions in grants are given each year for research studies and scholarships to keep medical schools filled. The medical textbooks given to the students and much of the literature and reading material is provided free of charge to medical students and are written by or paid for by drug companies. Is it any wonder then that the first course of treatment for many ailments has been to take a pharmaceutical product?
The first rule of medicine is supposed to be ‘first do no harm’. But in many cases this is not being followed. Instead of medical students being trained on healthy non-pharmaceutical ways to treat common ailments, they are instead taught that drugs are the ‘first line’ of treatment. This not only exposes patient to unnecessary possible side effects from the medications but also causes them and their health insurance company to spend money needlessly. Of course the pharmaceutical companies prefer this as it means more money for them.
Courses in medical school that encourage alternative therapy or even such staples as good diet and exercise are discouraged and instead a ‘treat the symptom not the cause’ ethos has prevailed in large part due to the insidious influence of drug companies. How does this happen? Nearly every major professor at well known medical schools is given grant money from drug companies. If a professor or academic publishes a paper that is critical of the pharmaceutical practices then they simply are ‘looked over’ and skipped when it comes time for their grants to be renewed. Those who ‘tow the line’ are rewarded with trips to conferences and lavish grants to study yet another new drug. These professors then get to publish their work in medical journals which are…you guessed it…paid for by the pharmaceutical company.
The university likes professors that publish as it is good PR for the university. Published articles are also one of the mandatory linchpins in many universities determinations of professors gaining tenure and pay raises. A vicious cycle then emerges where you have drug companies using this system to promote those professors and researchers that ‘favor’ using pharmaceuticals and those that disagree are simply dropped…first from the grants…then from the publishing…and eventually from the university. By the time a young med school student graduates and enters his internship at a hospital he has been taught that for most ailments he is likely to see, drugs are the first and best way to treat them. It only gets worse from there. Make sure you stop by www.sedatednation.com and see how a young doctor is even further ‘influenced’ by drug companies once they enter private practice.