In my 35 years of practicing medicine, I have clearly witnessed the medical system replacing physician time spent with patients with prescriptions.
I am NOT against allopathic therapy. I just think we are rapidly losing the a valuable commodity; the patient doctor relationship.
When I used to perform expensive annual physicals on patients at times we would discuss how expensive it all was. As I was not a huge advocate of over testing, I would openly tell patients that the annual physical subsidized their phone calls and emails for the rest of the year. I also told them that one of the most valuable portions of the annual exam was our spending 90 minutes to two hours with the patient once per year. That very rarely can take place now, but it did allow my patients to receive not only more “comfortable”, if not expensive, care, but since they knew they could get hold of me any time and spend real time solving problems, a very high level of trust and caring developed. This allows better patient compliance, more open and honest discussions and much earlier detection of disease as patients always felt they had a partner they could contact AND TRUST.
The doctor patient relationship has been greatly diminished; it has nearly been annihilated. As I have said in the past, we need to do a study where a “kind” clinic is established where primary care doctors are again able to spend AS MUCH TIME AS THEY DEEM NECESSARY, to help the patient. The cost is not trivial, but it is nothing compared to the savings on useless and excessive tests and prescriptions so the patient feels they got “something”. Tragically, they just got another high energy prescription for a drug or a test and a very “low energy” physician consultation.
For every 15 minutes a physician spends with a patient, listening and learning, there are prescriptions, tests and surgeries saved – a very good deal for everyone.