Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Altenative Therapies: UK "Eminant Physicians" Call It Hocus Pocus

Alternative Medicine in the UK is being debated as a subset of Socialized Medicine. The debate there is more intense because the government pays for everything. Traditional medical doctors are irritated that their fine services are even debated with Alternative Medicine. Why, Alternative Medicine is bunk, pure and simple. The lack of research proves it. The research that exists is sub-par. The gold standard of research is double blind studies. The gold standard for drug companies: medicines that can be patented.

Alternative Medicine will probably never enjoy the same religious standing as the hallowed halls of Medicine (at least with Medical Doctors). The approach is radically different. The difficulty with most Alternative Medicines? Double-blind studies are difficult (ever tried a pretend needle? or sham adjustment?). The results can't be patented. Since vitamins and minerals and herbs are food, they can't be patented. No money to be made. No research conducted.

While plenty of Traditional Medicine Docs hate Alternative Medicine in the U.S., they have a rougher time of it with patients, because the patients disregard their opinions and pay cash to see their Chiropractor, Acupuncturist, Massage Therapist, Naturopath or even Energy Healer. That makes it even worse! These other practitioners get cash while MDs are slaves to the government health care system and insurance. And if you think slavery is too strong a word, you haven't been in the double bind of wanting to help a patient, get paid nothing for it and having care managed by some pointy headed accountant or undereducated nurse somewhere.

What patients want is results. While traditional docs may loathe the touchy-feely, lack-of-stats treatments that many enjoy (much of it traditional medicine, btw), as long as people get results, they'll pay.

The great thing about being an Alternative Doctor is that I know, my husband knows, that if we don't produce results, people won't come back. We can't rely on guaranteed payments--insurance companies are very unkind to Chiropractors. The government is even worse. There is no insurance equality--that is, other practitioners get paid more for doing the exact same thing even though we have as much, and in some cases more education in the area.

Oh well... Life is tough all over. We help people. People get better and refer their friends. And people pay cash because they've tried all the stuff that should work and doesn't. Medical professionals and even some Alternative Docs swoon over statistics and double-blind studies. Most people are interested in what works. Clinical results are valid, too, even if they are only anecdotal.

While there is no shortage of people benefitting from and/or enduring drugs and surgery (traditional medicine has job security), there is also no shortage of peopld benefitting from and/or enduring alternatives. Why must Medical professionals insist upon their way or the highway? It couldn't possibly be market competition, could it? Nah.... It couldn't be that.

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