It has come to my attention that doctors seem to take their professional responsibility less seriously than in decades past. There was a time when you went to the doctor and discussed not only the list of symptoms, but solutions to the problem. My husband has acid reflux. When he went to the doctor, the doctor said "sounds like acid reflux." Here are some sample medications and a prescription. He tries them. They help. We take the prescription to the pharmacy only to be told that insurance requires he try a less strong medication first before upgrading to the strong (more expensive medication). No problem. The doctor faxes over the new prescription. He begins taking it and it help. Not as much as the first pills, but helps.
A month or so goes past and the insurance company sends us a pamphlet about prilosec OTC. I laugh inside thinking the insurance company will do anything to cut cost, including encourage over-the-counter medication. I read the pamphlet anyways. The pamphlet not only described how the medication helps, but went on to give advice on causes and how to cut back on acid reflux before it starts. The causes including high soft drink intake, tomato sauce, overindulging, etc where all thing my husband tend to do. My husband does everything it listed except smoke. Our doctor never mention that perhaps if my husband were to not drink 6 Dr. Peppers a day or I quit cooking Italian food at night, his reflux might go away on its own. Even if it didn't go away, he could have mentioned some of the ways to reduce it.
But instead, he was content to just give him a pill. No discussion. No advice on better living. Just fix it with a pill.
Has our society become so "quick fix" orientated that we do not bother to solve problems? Is it all about treating the symptoms? There was a time when doctors where to be respected for the vast knowledge of the human body. Now it seems we only respect the fact that they have the pills and access to the same information we do. It's as if the doctors assume we wanted to treat our problem with healthier living, we would look up how to do it ourselves on the internet. They assume we come to them for pills. By operating under this assumption, they are only a licensed drug dealer. People can go to the street corner to get a fix to self-medicate, or go to the doctor for some legal drugs, but it's all the same. Our dealers are there, ready to give us what we need.
How many doctors hand out Ritalin to children? anti-depression? pain pills? are these drugs the quick fix to our problems? Or should we look at the child hard - does he have ADHD or is he bored and making adults crazy? (I'm not saying ADHD kids don't need it - they do - but it's highly over diagnosis.) Is the person on anti-depressions getting emotional help for their problems or just taking a pill and hoping it will get better. Anti-depressions where meant to be used with therapy, not in place of us.
Is America's drug addiction moving off the streets and back into our doctors' offices? At one time, we went our nation's doctors for our cocaine and heroin; will these medications be listed with them as illicit substances someday?