We’ve said it before, but we’ll say it again: More medicine is not necessarily better medicine.
It’s just more medicine – a point highlighted by a recent study on “patient satisfaction” in Archives of Internal Medicine:
The authors – four family medicine doctors at UC Davis – suggest that in a healthcare marketplace in which Americans often choose their doctors in the same way they choose a plumber or an electrician, physicians may have gotten a little too eager to please their “customers.” More reliant than ever on patient-satisfaction scores and online reviews, doctors may be acceding to more patients’ requests for tests, treatments and medication that they’ve read about on the Internet or seen on TV.
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Their findings: that compared to the least-satisfied patients, those who were most satisfied with their healthcare were on more prescription medications, made more doctor’s office visits and were more likely to have had one or more hospital stays, despite the fact they were in better overall physical and mental health. Also, despite the greater attention and all those prescription drugs they got, the highly satisfied were more likely to die in the few years after taking the survey than were those who pronounced themselves least satisfied with their physicians’ medical care.
That last finding – which the writer calls “surprising” – was “even stronger when researchers stripped out the individuals from both groups who identified themselves as being in poor health or who suffered from three or more chronic diseases.”
But is it really so surprising? After all, the more times you do something, the more chances you have for something to go wrong – which the study authors say may explain the phenomenon. Considering that, for instance, over 100,000 die in the US each year due to known side-effects of drugs alone, this doesn’t seem surprising at all.
But think, too, about the effects of so much unnecessary medical treatment on the biological terrain (your body’s internal environment or “ground system”/matrix). How might it be adding to the total toxic body burden? The more polluted and disordered the terrain, the less your natural defense systems can work as they should – for instance, simply excreting the pollutants. But if we clean up the terrain and support the body’s inherent ability to self-regulate, healing can happen.