Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Good Job Carl

We have a newspaper columnist in our city who sheriff's everything. As a community member, I know I don't have to worry about a thing, as Carl will keep an eye on teachers, Drs., police, politicians and anyone else who dares to stray from "legitimate". He just seems to catch everyone.

For years now, Carl has focused on the psychotherapy business. He's convinced that new psychological disorders are named for the sole purpose of creating some new (magical) medication to enhance bottom line profits. I'm not a psychotherapist, nor am I familiar with these medications, but I do believe patients are medicated first and talked to only as a last resort. This poor guy gets all kinds of letters blasting him, with justifications being thrown all over the place by those who are in on the take. There are days I really feel for the guy.

So, yesterday, he writes this new article on psychotherapy, a subject he hasn't touched in months with all the police and politician material that's always in abundance. He interviews this woman psychotherapist who opposes the standard protocols of medicating first. She believes in talking to patients. But, the interesting thing is, she describes the current, accepted, traditional system as being "medical model". Yes, this is the standard of care in the medical industry today.

So, I put somewhere on my "to do" list, call Carl. Tell him the psychotherapy industry is not the only profit oriented, ignorant department in medicine. Musculo-skeletal may even be worse. The so-called experts, the medics, and more specifically, the orthopedists, don't really know a whole lot about musculo-skeletal (from a biomechanically diagnostic and rehabilitative perspective). They are great surgeons (most of them), and they sure know how to inject cortisone, but beyond that, they're not much help. Yet, the public believes they are the wise men at the top of the mount.

Next, we have our primaries, who know next to nothing about musculo-skeletal. It's sometimes embarassing when a patient comes in and tells me they went to their primary, and the tests that were(n't) done and the treatment that was recommended. Pills for pain and "stop doing what you're doing" is all too common. Our final players in the game are physical therapists and chiropractors. For the most part, they do very few tests and use the elimination of symptoms as their goal, attempting to get the person feeling better asap....."Quit whining and get back to work".

No one FIXES the person. In psychotherapy or the musculo-skeletal world. I move "Call Carl" higher on my list. Tell him. Let him know our industry is also a profit center (at the expense of humanity) for the pharmaceutical and surgical companies.

As Dr. Bob Arnott says in his book, Wear and Tear, "Our medical profession would have nothing to offer for my sore hip until I needed a hip replacement". And, as the deceased Dr. George Sheehan, famous cardiologist in the running world said, "If you're injured, you'd be better off in the hands of a mechanic than a medical Dr. At least your problem would not be complicated by drugs, that in the end will do no good."

Yes, the medical model probably exists in other departments of medicine. But, being a reader of Carl Strock's column, and living in the biomechanics world, I know there are at least 2 departments in health care that need to burn the current rule book. We need to put the health of the patient back as our number one goal, not the health of some bottom line at the expense of the patient.

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