OPEN LETTER TO A MEDICAL DOCTOR
Having been in practice for over two and a half decades, I not only have MY SHARE OF FANS, I have some detractors as well (HERE). I suppose it's like that with MOST PEOPLE. Although the same thing is at least somewhat true concerning my relationship with the mainstream medical community (I've had the opportunity to treat numerous physicians, PHARMACISTS, RESEARCHERS, etc, as well as the fact that my bro and his wife are both MDs), most just choose to ignore me. After all, to a significant number of them I'm just a blithering quack (HERE or HERE). But on occasion, I get good / constructive emails from doctors; like the one below from a family physician practicing somewhere in the Bible Belt.
"I have been utilizing infrared heat and light therapy almost daily for a year. It is amazing. I recommend it to everyone. I do isometric exercises in an infrared sauna (Hot Bot Detox now called Hotworx) most days of the week and then use a red light stand up booth to dry off and reap the benefits of the effects on my skin. I have infrared heating pads. I bought them for my parents. Now read the next paragraph.
I am a medical doctor. Honestly the negativity you have about medical doctors pisses me off. I think your adversarial tone is counterproductive to a comprehensive approach to patient care between those of us who went to medical school and other health professionals such as yourself.
I saw a 29 year old woman the other day as a new patient with complaints of fatigue, irritability, neck muscle tension, poor sleep etc. She'd seen numerous other medical practitioners, had lab tests run repeatedly (all normal). She came to me and I told her, if you do what I recommend, you will get better. I recommended she get her 5 year old son to bed earlier every night so she has time to care for herself. I discussed sleep habits with her extensively and may have her get a sleep study. I recommended that she eat healthy nutritious food, avoid preservatives/chemicals/processed foods. I recommended that she start exercising with yoga or tai chi. I recommended she get an infra-red shoulder heating pad. I told her that medication (alone) is not the answer for her symptoms. I did discuss medications and the mechanism of action on neurotransmitters. I prescribed her 25 mg of Sertraline to get her started but reminded her that she would not feel better if she didn't follow my other recommendations.
My point is that generalizing MDs as not treating patients as a whole is not always true. I am a daughter, sister, wife, mother, and friend. I practice Family Medicine. I love my job (minus the bureaucracy of Medicare the insurance industry) and I care a great deal about my patients. I hope that if you read this you will have hope for MDs because not all of us only believe in surgery and medication."
It's always nice to hear a doctor say they love their job because recent peer-reviewed studies and polls are showing that many physicians --- arguably the majority --- don't (HERE). Let me also say doc, that I apologize for over-generalizing and characterizing all MD's in the same light. You are correct in saying that that there are some physicians out there who treat their patients as whole persons (I'll add to this that the number of docs doing so is growing). It's fantastic that you care enough about your patients not to prescribe unnecessary drugs or recommend needless or questionable surgeries. However, I would guess that this is exactly how many --- maybe even the majority --- of your colleagues practice. In my neck of the woods we have exactly one doctor who takes the time to talk to her patients about diet, lifestyle, exercise, alternatives, etc. One.
It's not that I go out of my way to be adversarial. If you'll notice; although I undeniably promote myself and what I do on my site, I don't sell any products through it (I do offer some WHOLE FOOD NUTRITION in-house). The purpose of my site is to empower people in general, whether they are my patients or not, to get off their duffs and take their lives back (LIKE THIS WOMAN DID). I want to see them off as many drugs as possible (HERE), lose the excess weight and change their body composition in the process (HERE), change their diets (KETOGENIC, PALEO, ELIMINATION, etc), and get out of pain in the process. To find physicians who are on board with that mission is refreshing (HERE'S ONE ABOUT A HUNDRED MILES FROM ME). Unfortunately, I not only see this as not being the norm, at least here in the Ozarks, it's exceedingly rare. Maybe things are different in your state and town?
Although I do have a tendency to be polemic and say some fairly half-cocked things (I was diagnosed with foot-in-mouth disease decades ago), I always try to back up what I write or say with peer-review or "best evidence" (which itself can be EXTREMELY DIFFICULT TO TRUST). The truth is, I hate to see people reliant on doctors of any kind if they don't need to be, and that goes for me as well (HERE). To help empower my patients, I use THIS HANDOUT in my clinic to help send patients with questions in a direction that will hopefully get them doing some research on their own.
By the way, I want my readers to know that this doc is doing is pretty cool stuff in her clinic. One of my patients --- AN ELITE ATHLETE --- uses both infra-red and ozone saunas as part of her recovery regimen. The LIGHT THERAPY is pretty awesome as well. If you ever happen to have your family in the Ozarks in the summertime doc, let me know and maybe I could get you all on the CURRENT RIVER.
Dr. Schierling completed four years of Kansas State University's five-year Nutrition / Exercise Physiology Program before deciding on a career in Chiropractic. He graduated from Logan Chiropractic College in 1991, and has run a busy clinic in Mountain View, Missouri ever since. He and his wife Amy have four children (three daughters and a son).