Why “Doctor’s Know Best” Is Wrong

Before we get started, we need to understand a few things;
1. There are ONLY TWO countries in the world (United States and New Zealand) that allow direct to consumer pharmaceutical advertising.
2. The US makes up 5% of the world’s population and yet consumes;
– approximately 50% of all the prescription drugs;
– 80% of all opioids (pain relievers) and 99% of hydrocodone (most common prescribed pain reliever)
3. There are many smart, open-minded and talented doctors out there that are great! Find one!
4. The rest is my opinion.
There are few professions that wield such great power over ones decision making such as doctors. The tide is starting to turn, albeit, painfully slow. The media mafia markets directly to the public and pharmaceutical industries incentivize doctors to prescribe certain medications that result in an unhealthy environment for the public. Billions of dollars are spent each year on telling us that crappy food is good for us because it is fortified with vitamins and minerals, and that medication can solve any problem for all of mankind.
Given my profession(s), the two situations that I see the biggest issues is in regards to the obesity epidemic and musculo-skeletal injury. In most circumstances, people turn to some kind of health care physician for answers. Unfortunately, too often this results in over medication of conditions and poor nutrition and exercise advice.
The amount of misinformation out there on these topics is staggering.  At the end of the day, we are all responsible for taking care of ourselves, making our health a priority; if you choose. If you prefer a lifetime of obesity related diseases and spending what amounts to a mortgage payment on medications, then you can stop reading.  If you’re happy, I’m happy.
I believe it’s important for medical professionals to actively create a network of others where they can refer patients to, and trust they have the patients best interest in mind. As the saying goes, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” So I’d encourage them to either learn what the newest research/best practices are on topics such as injury rehab and nutrition, or know when it’s time to refer that patient to the proper professional.  I’d imagine this is not common practice in part because the doctors assume people are inherently lazy and want the quick fix with the least amount of time/effort/money, and part because it’s easier to tell them to take this medication, or offer some poor FDA approved nutritional advice; than to listen to people and actually figure out what’s best for them as an individual.
The most frustrating issue of all is how some of these medical professionals do nothing but get patients to rely on others (and medications), and/or give them excuses on why they feel a certain way. Empowering people to do better with their health will be one of the most efficient ways to turn around a nation that is too sick and in too much physical pain. Telling patients that “arthritis” is the reason for all their joint pain, or they are “over 40 so you’ll start to feel more aches” is doing absolutely nothing to help them; not to mention many times a bullshit story in effort to get them out of the office in the least amount of time.
We, as a group of professionals that work to improve the lives of people must do better. Your community deserves it.