Why Many Doctors are Scared of Holistic Medicine


, more and more people are making the move to alternative medicines and vitamins to stay healthy. Unfortunately, if you ask your doctor about these types of treatments or preventative measures, you are just as likely to receive a stern rebuff for using "health food store medicine." As a patient, this can be very frustrating, but when you consider the way the medical industry works, it is not very surprising.

One of the main reasons that doctors are so hesitant to support or prescribe alternative treatments, such as vitamin regiments to prevent heart disease, is that it goes against the way they were taught, which is to find a problem and prescribe a medicine.

This is in part due to the nature of the pharmaceutical industry, which fights low cost medicines and ones they can not patent with every breath. If they can't make money off of it, it isn't a valid treatment. In a perfect world, the pharmaceutical industry would not have as much influence over medicine or would not be so ready to fight low cost treatments, but sadly this is not the case. In the end, the major pharmaceutical leaders have much deeper pockets than most small time companies and so can pretty much control what most mainstream doctors see. As a result, it is who has the biggest advertising budget that controls what drugs doctors use, rather than what is the best choice for the patient. This is especially true of doctors who receive reimbursement for prescribing medicines.

Of course, there are many other factors and in truth, even though most alternative medicine companies do not have as big of a budget, there is still plenty of literature available to doctors, describing studies on the effectiveness of vitamin supplements and treatments. However, few doctors make any effort to explore these concepts, often because of a strong personal bias against these types of treatments. One of the reasons for this bias is that most people who use these types of treatments operate outside of the standard medical industry, who right the rules on what is acceptable treatment. It is not always bias, though, often doctors simply do not have the time to learn and read about these concepts.

Another factor that often leads doctors to prescribe solely what is the current hot top in pharmaceutical medicine is that most big pharma companies spend a big portion of their advertising budget directly marketing to consumers. These ads will describe a medicine and then say "Ask your doctor about X and if it is right for you." This leads many people to ask their doctor about the medicine and in order to keep the patient happy, they are more inclined to research and prescribe it. These ads also often have an impact on the doctor, who might see them and become interested in the drug or perhaps count on the fact that their patient might have seen the ad, so the recommendation sounds familiar to the patient.

Yet another reason many doctors will not or do not even consider most holistic approaches to medicine, like acupuncture, is that up until very recently, these topics were rarely covered in Medical School. Often, the schools will even go as far as to attempting to discredit these practices and discourage doctors from learning about them.

Doctors also tend to be very protective against putting themselves in a situation where they may face law suit or malpractice suit, so this is never far from their mind. As a result, they will often steer very widely around anything that does not have the full backing of the medical industry.

Unfortunately, the area of holistic medicine, which often focuses on things like preventative medicine through vitamin supplements and things like acupuncture, is something that most doctors are not very comfortable with. Further, these doctors often go out of their way to prevent their patients from using and even being aware of these approaches. Right or wrong, there are a number of reasons for this, although it often does come down to greed or bias.

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