Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Slate has an interesting article about how pharmaceutical companies make their drugs look like they are more effective than they are. I read this a couple of weeks ago, but I hunted it down this morning after trying to explain what I'd read to Matt. Anyone taking medication really should read it, if just to be aware of how the effectiveness of a medicine is measured.

I take two medicines, but neither is for preventative measures. But it did make me think about how I've been treated by doctors. Overwhelmingly I think I've had samples thrown at me and asked to come back if the condition didn't improve or if it got worse. Now, I understand that to some degree. The body heals itself and in a lot of cases time is the only thing that's going to make someone feel better (cold, flu, infection, inflamation, torn or sprained muscles, etc.)

But at the same time a lot of times I feel like doctors don't really want to take the time to get to know the patient and what's causing the problem. It's difficult to diagnose a problem from the babbling of a person who you don't know. But when I know there's something wrong with me, whether it's something treatable or just getting older, then it's frustrating to be dismissed. A lot of doctors project an aura that they know everything and the patient is exaggerating and not being truthful. It's irritating.

I have seen good doctors before, so this is by no means a blanket statement, but you have to wade through an awful lot of uncaring doctors to find those who actually listen and try.

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