Doctor Jonas is an important figure head of US ‘Integrative Medicine’. As we discussed in a recent post, he pointed out that many US hospital doctors fail to answer the following questions relating to their chronically ill patients:
- “What matters most for this patient?
- What is the person’s lifestyle like – their nutrition, movement and sleep?
- How does that patient manage their stress?
- Does that patient have a good support system at home?
- What supplements does that patient take? Has your patient seen any CAM practitioners to cope with their condition?
- Why do they want to get well?”
In my previous post, I tried to explain that this is embarrassing – embarrassing for doctor Jonas, I meant.
But Jonas also claims that most US hospital doctors he addressed during his lecture tour, were unable to answer these questions. And that might be embarrassing not for Jonas, but for those physicians. Let’s consider this possibility for a moment.
The way I see it, the doctors in question might not have answered to Jonas for the following reasons:
- They felt that the questions were simply too daft to bother.
- They were too polite to tell Jonas what they think of him.
- They were truly unable to answer the questions.
Here I want to briefly deal with the last category.
I do not doubt for a minute that this category of physician exists. They have little interest in what matters to their patients, don’t ask the right questions, have no time and even less empathy and compassion. Yet nobody can deny that medical school teaches all of these qualities, skills and attitudes. And there is no doubt that good doctors practice them; it is not a choice but an ethical and moral imperative.
So, what went wrong with these doctors?
Probably lots, and I cannot begin to tell you what exactly. However, I can easily tell you that those doctors are not practicing good medicine. Similarly, I can tell you what these doctors ought to do: re-train and be reminded of what medical school has once taught them.
And what about those physicians who advocate ‘integrated medicine’ reminding everyone of the core values of healthcare?
Aren’t they fabulous?
No, they aren’t!
Because they too have evidently forgotten what they should have learnt at medical school. If not, they would not be able to pretend that ‘integrative medicine’ has a monopoly on core values of all healthcare. Their messages are akin to a new ‘school’ of ship-building insisting that it is beneficial to build ships that do not leak.
What I am trying to say in my clumsy way is this:
DOCTORS WHO PRACTICE BAD MEDICINE SHOULD RE-TRAIN – TOGETHER WITH THOSE PHYSICIANS WHO ADVOCATE ‘INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE‘, BECAUSE THEY BOTH HAVE FORGOTTEN WHAT THEY LEARNT AT MEDICAL SCHOOL.