Start Making Sense Let’s Use Prevention, Part 4

Another part of reinventing medical and health care would be to provide continuing medical education that is preventive in nature to physicians and other health care providers, as well as foundational preventive medical education to physicians in training, in medical school and in residency programs.

This medical education would be focused on prevention and would include more natural methods of health care so that fewer toxic drugs would be needed. Health insurance companies, government agencies (health departments), could sponsor this. Our current system of medical education (and research) is heavily funded and influenced in a lopsided way by pharmaceutical industries that currently have a vested interest in disease.

This medical education would emphasize the enormous body of research and evidence documented in quality mainstream medical journals that have been overlooked, ignored, or forgotten by medical education programs because of the strong bias toward drug and hospital based medicine. This body of evidence and information would include nutritional medicine, homeopathy, traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture, herbal medicine, and many other so called “alternative’ treatments.

A more intensive training for physicians would be made in the area of the newly recognized field of study called “functional medicine,” which seeks to detect imbalances and deficiencies in physiological and biochemical function, which have not yet manifested in disease, imbalances which, if corrected, can prevent disease. Bringing about better function can be accomplished with nutrition, lifestyle changes, and natural, methods of treatments. This functional medicine is truly preventive medicine. This kind of medicine could save lives just by avoiding having to use prescription drugs, which would be used as a last resort.

Conventional medicine, as it is known today, would then be called ‘alternative,” because it would be used truly as an alternative, when the more natural methods have failed, or in emergencies when time does not allow the slower, more natural, treatments to work.

The third part of this discussion will describe a more descriptive details of what preventive educational programs would look like, and what types of testing and information gathering functional medicine can do to provide a basis for safe, relatively nontoxic interventions to restore health and to prevent disease.