Posted by: Chris Maloney | November 11, 2014

Dr. Oz Tells Why Your Doctor Resists Alternative Medicine?

I think if I explained the reality of what it’s like within medicine it wouldn’t hold nearly the weight as when Dr. Oz goes through what he experiences. Here’s his take on the reasons (from Sharecare):

The most difficult aspect of understanding a doctor’s resistance is that belief plays an enormous role in what any individual is willing to accept. Someone who has seen the same things work over and over again is not going to think that anything else works as well.

At the same time, the overwhelming majority of your doctor’s experience occurs in crisis situations within a hospital setting. If your heart has stopped, you need a defibrillator. If you are gushing blood on the floor, we don’t use an herb.

Transplant that same person to an outpatient setting, where your chronic high blood pressure is not responding to five different medications. Doubling the dosage and adding a sixth medication might be the best hospital response. But it’s not the best response when you really don’t have any other symptoms, and you don’t have any other life threatening concerns.

Since your relative condition is much better than it would be in the hospital, the side effects of the strong medication becomes more of a factor in your decisions. In the hospital, controlling your life-threatening blood pressure would take priority over the explosive diarrhea the medication causes. But in an outpatient setting, the explosive diarrhea lowers your quality of life and makes you much less likely to comply with your doctor’s prescription.

Within the context of a less life-threatening outpatient setting, something like guided meditation, yoga, and relaxation techniques might be a lot more palatable than explosive diarrhea from a sixth medication. But your doctor will have had no experience with that as a treatment. It will make her nervous, and she will “lean on you” to take the sixth medication because she knows it works. All of her experience will be that if she doesn’t force you to do what she wants you might die. The unfortunate reality is that without training her in meditation, yoga, and relaxation techniques, it is unlikely that you will convince her that an alternative medical approach is better for you.

The resistance of doctors, bred of hospital-based emergency experience, is a fundamental issue for patients who want to try something that normally wouldn’t be offered in an emergency setting. Finding a doctor who can look beyond what she was taught to what will work for you is a first step to improving your health care.


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