What’s Wrong with US Healthcare – Top 3 Secrets Patients Don’t Know
I love my patients and I love what I do. That’s why the US healthcare system breaks my heart in how it fails patients. Here are the top ways I see my patients taken advantage of, especially around surgery.
Big Pharma Isn’t Evil, but it Makes Money When You Don't Know Alternatives
Do you know the most prescribed medications in the world? The majority are for high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, acid reflux, pain, and depression. What do these conditions all have in common?
The majority of prescription medications are for conditions that can be treated without medications
My patients are often skeptical when I tell them that acid reflux, (and here), allergies, asthma, and many more conditions are heavily influenced by lifestyle. And often with mind-body techniques that don’t require you buying anything extra. Just look at my other videos or the so-called placebo effect!
I’m not gaslighting any patients: these are real, physiologic conditions. Not all patients can be fully cured without medications, but natural lifestyle changes can significantly help the majority of patients to reduce, or eliminate, medication requirements.
Side effects and costs of prescription medications
Some things to know about prescription medications:
- Some medications might influence patients to eat more calories, move less, and ultimately gain more weight.
- It’s in part because patients prescribed medications for lifestyle modifiable diseases, like high blood pressure or cholesterol, appear more likely to continue the lifestyle habits that caused the disease in the first place.
- Side effects are expensive. Hundreds of billions of dollars are spent on prescription medication side effects. Many of these are from NSAIDs.
- 50% of bankruptcies are because of medical expenses in the USA.
- Patients pay for drug advertisements! And it’s in the tens of billions of dollars!
Alternative medicine is a Rebranded, Underegulated Big Pharma
Alternative medicine, like big pharma, is not always evil. However, patient fears can be exploited to make lots of money.
Marketing to fears and uncertainties of vulnerable patients, alternative medicine outlets make tens of billions of dollars a year in the USA alone.
These out-of-pocket expenses come from supplement sales, hokey therapies, natural medicine consultations with fringe medical providers who never actually went to medical school, and much more.
Here’s the truth:
- Many alternative medicine treatments work,
- But we don't know which ones are safe and effective,
- Until then, they can be risky!
- Look at natural supplements that actually have pharmaceutical medications in them.
The most common scams are for sexual enhancement, weight loss, and muscle building.
Patients paying the highest medical bills often get the lowest value care
Do you know where patients are getting bankrupted most often? It's in the emergency room and operating room time cost. Despite these high costs, my patients aren't getting the value they deserve.
- My patients in surgery can have worse mental health challenges after surgery, like PTSD and depression. That can make an already challenging surgical recovery even harder. But that can be prevented, and maybe even reversed with the right preparation before surgery! Our medical system doesn't encourage empowerment before stressful situations, like surgery.
- Patients often feel victimized when they come to the ER or the OR. Instead of empowering patients in these stressful situations, the medical system may encourage further victimization and disempowerment.
- This isn't surprising when a multibillion-dollar industry is encouraging an "external loci of control." This means seeking help external to the body, like from pills and supplements.
Big pharma and alternative medicine are so important to delivering high quality care to my patients. However, they risk worsening the compassion that my patients deserve from their medical system.
That's what our medical system deserves: more compassion and less pill pushing.
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