Join Now!      Login

Whole Person Wellness Program
 
healthy.net Wellness Model
Skip Navigation Links
 
 
FREE NEWSLETTER
   
   
   
 
Health Centers
Key Services
 
Medicial Mistakes?
How many people each year suffer some type of preventable harm that contributes to their death after a hospital visit?
from 46,000 to 78,000
from 78,000 to 132,000
from 132,000 to 210,000
from 210,000 to 440,000

 
 

 Conversations with Leaders in Self-Care: Drugs and Self-Care 
 
Interview with Joe Graedon MA
   as interviewed by Tom Ferguson MD

I think that a number of drugs that now require a prescription could be made available over the counter—if the buyer was provided with good, clear information on how to use them.

I think the idea of increased access to a limited number of drugs is very exciting. The number of effective pharmaceuticals available is much smaller than most people think. We have thousands of drugs. But there are only about three or four dozen really widely used and effective therapeutic agents. The average physician prescribes only about two dozen on a regular basis.

I have no doubt that with an effective medical education program in our schools, we could have high school graduates with a level of drug expertise sufficient to safely use many, many drugs that are now available only by prescription. You were saying that you felt we relied much too heavily on drugs. Why is that?

I think there are four main reasons. Number one is the huge amount of money spent on advertisements for over-the-counter drugs. Kids grow up thinking that pills and potions are the answer to health problems—a pill for your headache, a cream for your hemorrhoids. Just count the number of drug ads on television in one week. You'll be astonished.

Number two is an even more intense effort by drug manufacturers to advertise their products to doctors. There are thousands and thousands of detail people who do nothing but go around to doctor's offices pushing their companies' drugs. Almost every major medical journal, including the most reputable ones, contains gobs and gobs of very impressive and expensively-done drug commercials. That can't help but have a big impact on doctors' prescribing habits.

Number three is the way health workers are educated. Prevention and nondrug treatment are either ignored or given lip service. The message we give health workers is that there's a pill for every ill.

Number four is the pressure from the very nature of the clinical visit to give a prescription. The doctor has perhaps ten or fifteen minutes to see each patient. That's not enough time to even begin to ask how the current problem relates to the rest of their lives. You can't even begin to think about prevention. That's barely time to take a brief history, check your blood pressure, and write a prescription.

And a lot of people will feel cheated if they get advice instead of a prescription.

Absolutely. A lot of the pressure comes from the client. We live in an "instant" society today—with instant hamburgers and instant checking. So when we're ill, we expect instant relief.

There's an economic pressure, too. The doctor who's charging you fifty dollars for a fifteen-minute visit is going to have a lot of difficulty prescribing aspirin— even if that's the best and safest remedy. The person could have done that much for himself.

How can we get away from these patterns?

I think that people have to learn some basic clinical medicine. 1 think that health workers need to help them do this—by stepping out of their authority roles and sharing their uncertainties and their doubts.

I think that medical education needs to stress nondrug treatments. If someone comes in with high blood pressure, most doctors' first thought will be to prescribe a thiazide diuretic, but a much more appropriate first step might be to recommend that the person lose weight, begin exercising, quit smoking, cut down on salt intake, learn new ways of dealing with stress, or apply some combination of these self-care approaches. The drug should be used only as a last resort.

CONTINUED      Previous   1  2  3  4  5  6  7  Next   
 Comments Add your comment 

 About The Author
Tom Ferguson, M.D. (1943-2006), was a pioneering physician, author, and researcher who virtually led the movement to advocate informed self-care as the starting point for good health. Dr. Ferguson studied and wrote......moreTom Ferguson MD
 
 From Our Friends
 
 
 
Popular & Related Products
 
Popular & Featured Events
Wellness Inventory Certification Training
     September 16-December 16, 2014
     Teleclass, CA USA
 
Additional Calendar Links
 
Stevia Products & Info
 
Dimensions of Wellness
Wellness, Sensing, dimension!

Home       Wellness       Health A-Z       Alternative Therapies       Find a Practitioner       Healthy Products       Bookstore       Wellness Inventory
Healthy Kitchen       Healthy Woman       Healthy Man       Healthy Child       Healthy Aging       Wellness Center       Nutrition Center       Fitness Center
Free Newsletter      What Doctor's Don't Tell You      Stevia.com      Discount Lab Tests      First Aid      Global Health Calendar      Privacy Policy     Contact Us
Disclaimer: The information provided on HealthWorld Online is for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Are you ready to embark on a personal wellness journey with our whole person approach?
Learn More/Subscribe
Are you looking to create or enhance a culture of wellness in your organization?
Learn More
Do you want to become a wellness coach?
Learn More
Free Webinar