Sunday, December 16, 2007

A visit to the doctor

One co-worker, who doesn’t speak English, needed to see a doctor. I went with him to be his translator. When scheduling the appointment, which was urgent, the doctor spoke to me on the phone. I told him about one symptom that my friend had, and he said it could be due to some vitamin deficiency, but that it’s rare.

When we went to see the doctor, we had some good news. My friend had some blood work done at the hospital and the results were negative, which was the main concern. However, regarding this one symptom, my friend still needed something done about it. I reminded the doctor about what he said, that it could be due to some kind of vitamin deficiency, and wondered if it could be a good idea for my friend to take a good multi-vitamin. The doctor said there was no need for that. Because my friend worked in a restaurant, the doctor “assumed” that he must be getting all his nutritional needs! So we ended up with the doctor not knowing what caused the symptoms, and not suggesting anything more than an antibiotic. Antibiotics seem to be the saviors for doctors when they don’t know what to do. Because being a doctor is about prescribing drugs, isn’t it!

To me, this is just one manifestation of how conventional medicine has gone astray. Even worse, I imagine that may be the doctor didn’t give much concern about this patient because he was a self-pay patient, with no insurance. So the doctor knew that if this patient could pay for this one visit, he wouldn’t probably afford to pay for more procedures, tests and visits.

For me, the ideal scenario should have gone something like the following. The doctor sees a symptom that he doesn’t understand and can’t find a clear cause for. The symptom is some lesions on the tongue. The doctor should ask the patient about his dietary habits. This just seems to be basic and common sense. When you have a patient complaining of something not very common or clear, even if you don’t address this particular problem, you should look at the whole well being of the patient. You should make sure that he is getting his nutritional needs, and second, you should make sure that his body is getting rid of toxins effectively. If you do just these two things, you’re sure to solve many problems, whether they be visible or invisible. Moreover, when it comes to getting rid of toxins, for example, how can a doctor see a patient without asking them how much water they drink?! Water is vital for many functions in the body, and so many people don’t really realize that. So the role of a doctor is to inform people about all the basic and little things that make a big difference.

My friend was scheduled for a one month follow up. I advised him not to go back. It would be useless, and the doctor will have nothing to say. He’d just be better off listening to some basic advice that I know will be beneficial for him, and save himself from some more antibiotics!


Anonymous said...

I don't agree with you on this conculsion. Remember this egyptian old saying "eddi elaish le-khabazuh....". My wife had some infection in her hand a couple of weeks ago. The doctor didn't know exactly what caused it. Still the antibiotic that was given took care of the infection and thank god, her hand is back to normal. Sometimes the symptom is not worrisome enough so an antibiotic will do. My adivce is don't oversimplify things for your poor friend then, god forbid, something worth may happen to him. thanks, Adel from Chicago.

Mohamed Shedou محمد شدو said...

Adel, I see your point. However, I didn't really give the whole picture. First, when the doctor scheduled him for a follow-up, he didn't really seem he knew what he was gonna see him for. As I said, he didn't look into any of the vital aspects that I mentioned that might have caused the problem.

Antibiotics do relieve symptoms, but kill everything on their way, both harmful bacteria and good bacteria. They actually compromise our immunity. I suggest you read some of the integrative medecine and natural healing books if you like to know more about the subject. I intend to continue writing about that insha'Allah and also talking about some good and recommended books.

Thanks for your feedback ya Adel.