About those pills


Category : General, Medical Rants

We Love Them. We Hate Them. We Take Them.

Pity the doctor who thinks that prescribing a drug is the same thing as treating a patient, and the patient who agrees. Some never learn otherwise. The rest of us slowly wake up to the fact that the prescription is just the beginning, sometimes not even that. Without constant discussion and re-evaluation, we might as well all be writing poetry on those prescription forms.

The physician has written a wonderful essay on pills. She describes her patient’s reaction and opinion of pills and discusses her reaction to that discussion.

I often tell patients that I cannot treat them – I can only recommend treatment. Success in medical care comes when the patient accepts responsibility for managing their condition. We must function like wilderness guides – pointing out where to go, cautioning about dangers. Once we understand that and communicate with our patients, I believe we become more successful as a physician patient team!

Prescribing drugs is easy. Helping patients successfully treat their condition is hard. It takes time. And it is worth it.

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Comments (2)

We are, indeed, an overmedicated society. And that’s because we doctors overprescribe those pills.

It’s time for us to dispel the notion that those pills are magic bullets, which many patients have blindly accepted. No wonder then they think we are not good doctors if we don’t write those prescrptions.

The experience noted in this essay is not foreign to a lot of us who felt the same relief, as the patients did, after we got rid of their bagfuls of drugs enough to stock a small pharmacy.

This is not to denigrate those pills, which many of our patients need. We just need to be more prudent and to learn the lesson that the pills are not the end-all of that complex relationship we call treatment.

excellent post. one good thing about the “consumerization” of health care is that a lot of patients are becoming more savvy about their medical decisions. i think part of our duty is also to steer them towards reputable and trustworthy sources of information on the internet. i reccomend familydoctor.org as a start.

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