Over decades of interactions many of you wish to know my views on the prime challenges that face medicine today. Often I am reluctant to answer because of several reasons. Many of you are young MBBS doctors and I do not find it proper to challenge your views as they may create an inner conflict and hamper your continuing education efforts. For some of you who are experienced and senior I despair at changing your entrenched views.
The most important challenge that medicine faces today is credibility. The success and acceptance of any medical system depends upon long term outcomes. It also depends on patient satisfaction that is often difficult to judge as realistic patient feedback is not encouraged by the system.
It is difficult for people to reconcile to any chronic disease. The body mind complex intrinsically recognizes an unnatural state and always strives to get rid of it. Even an uneducated psyche reflects this and thus follows a tug of war between innate rebellion and outward acceptance that forces one to look for ways and means to throw off the disease and restore health. This is why you notice your patients to strive for answers in other systems despite your constant education and efforts to restrain them to stick to your solutions and viewpoint alone. The improvements you notice in your subjects are not always due to your interventions but due to the effects of other treatment modalities. They do not share this fact with you but open up in the many health groups the internet regime has spawned.
Again, chronic disease is never static. It constantly depletes the body of vital resources. As it creates one deficiency, the body seeks to fill it up from another source and thus arises multiple deficiencies that often stump you and you end up blaming the person. The resultant uneasiness in the physical and mental sphere too prompts the person to seek answers and end up in the doors of the alternate healer.
You blame the lifestyle of the person. What if I tell you that it is the disease that shapes ones lifestyle and not vice versa? What if the disease shapes even the mentality of the person? You may often find a patient that never sticks to medication, that ends up doing exactly the opposite of what is told, that ends up travelling from one doctor to another? This kind of a patient is very well known to you, is it not? Have you ever wondered if it is the disease that is forcing the person to such a behaviour?
I could go on and on. Sadly if there is anything deficient in the profession, it is the lack of perception of disease. Can you blame me if I remain silent to your queries and evade them? Even being within the profession try suggesting to another MD that he could be wrong. You will end up terminating the friendship. In your chambers I fear the garlanded photographs of medical pioneers that you so proudly display on your walls and who have influenced you. They are no longer alive to admit their mistakes and you are ever dependent on the halo around their heads.
It is always better if you do not have to struggle with the ever increasing load of chronic disorders that you like to name lifestyle disorders. Had they been lifestyle disorders they would vanish the day the person adopts a healthy lifestyle. I am yet to see that happen. These chronic disorders are implanted and are beyond the capability of the body to shrug off. Many of them cannot be called disease in the normal sense. Left to itself the human civilization would never have developed them. You should also understand that what you perceive as disease is often the body’s own way to address wrongs and underlying conditions. This is particularly true in the case of common childhood ailments and acute conditions in adults. It is this knowledge that causes experienced persons to proclaim, “The best doctor often does nothing.”
I would beg of you, kindly delve into this. If you do so you will wake up to what constitutes health and what causes disease. This will be your personal journey. No one from your system will encourage you. You will be wiser in knowledge and that knowledge will help you and your family members. They will not only improve in health but will find happiness and many of the conflicts within your family that you seek counsel for will be resolved.
Disease is a vicious cycle and it travels all ways; ‘body-->mind-->emotions, emotions-->mind-->body, and mind-->emotions-->body’. If the intervention is not wise it causes unexpected outcomes you are not trained to recognize as outcomes of any disease. Health is holistic in nature and embraces body, mind, emotions and environment. They are not separate entities. Please study the current research on the microbiome, the mycobiome, the virome and emerging subjects like epigenetics and immunotoxicity. Don’t get stuck in them, they should only act as the bridge between your current education and the art of healing.
Once you understand health your scope and utility in society will multiply manifold. Instead of simply attending to diseased persons (a thankless job) you will find yourself addressing the needs of individuals and society that you will recognize in terms of health giving and health destroying. You will also find yourself in the position of a counselor, addressing personal needs of people and their inter-exchanges. When you perfectly understand health you will no longer be bound to the visible universe but understand the flow of life from the manifest to the unmanifest and back to manifestation again. You will understand the needs of the universe and how it creates both health and disease so that personal experiences shape the evolution from matter to spirit. Instead of depressing you, your profession will provide you tremendous joy and personal fulfillment.
This is all I can say without hurting you and turning you away.