Do you ever wonder why you seem to know more about your illness than your doctor? Are you frustrated because your doctor is unwilling to let you try a new treatment protocol? If you have one of the “controversial” illnesses like fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome, are you puzzled as to why some doctors still refuse to believe they exist despite piles of research proving distinctive physiological abnormalities?
According to Dr. Kent Holtorf, the answer to all of these questions is: because most doctors do not read medical journals. And even when they do happen to learn of new research, they are resistant to anything that they did not learn in medical school. That’s not just opinion. It’s the conclusion of a number of studies and articles published in the aforementioned unread medical journals.
In the doctors’ defense, their lack of interest in new scientific knowledge is not totally a matter of apathy. They are so overloaded with patients and paperwork, there just isn’t enough time to keep up. And the insurance reimbursement system in the U.S. not only doesn’t help the situation, it actually encourages and even forces physicians to provide less than adequate care. The worst doctors are rewarded financially because they see more patients, order fewer costly tests, and prescribe less expensive treatments.
Unfortunately, it is the patients who suffer. We fight for new research only to have the results sit in some medical journal, read only by other researchers and a handful of truly dedicated physicians. The result? According to a National Institute of Health study, “The lag between the discovery of more effective forms of treatment and their incorporation into routine patient care averages 17 years.” So we, the patients, suffer needlessly for 17 years while we wait for new discoveries to slowly leak into mainstream medicine.
For more information, read “Why Doesn’t My Doctor Know This?” by Kent Holtorf, MD.
What Can You Do?
Is there anything we can do to make a difference? We may not be able to make a significant impact on the medical community as a whole, but we can make a difference in our own personal healthcare. We MUST take charge and manage our own healthcare.