Monday, 9 October 2017

Commonsense and the decline of the Medical Profession!

   For much of my life I was convinced that most of my colleagues exhibited a fairly high level of commonsense.  I still think that was true for at least the first half of my career.   I began to notice occasional nonsensical patterns years ago, but nothing like the present day behaviour.   Almost daily, I read about health care decisions that make no sense other than that it secures and extends the power and position of the government and their obsequious non medical administrators.  I can understand their actions, after all, they don't have to work very hard and they are rewarded generously and look forward to a relatively young pensioned retirement.  It is more difficult to understand the physicians who had sacrificed much of their youth learning the Art and how to apply it, accepting a role that is subservient to a group whose background is largely business/financial and who know and care little about the Art and how it should be practiced.  Populism, does not encourage good medicine, but even the very bodies who were originally devised to maintain the standards and professionalism of medicine have thrown in their lot with the politically correct social warriors.  I speak of such organizations as the Provincial licensing bodies, The Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons and of organizations like the Canadian Medical Association.  
   Examples abound.  In Saskatchewan, a doctor was disciplined for sending threatening emails to a colleague.  The doctor repeatedly called his colleague "an idiot" and threatened to beat him to death!
  His tone rapidly deteriorated and I will give you just a couple of his choice statements.
   "Fucking idiot, Swica.  Don't call me "MUZIMU, (sic) Evel spirit".
   "Idiot, I can stand feces better than you.  You are worse than feces. I just can't stand you, idiot."
   So, what do you think the College did?
   They didn't even have the courage to suspend this disgusting physician for such unprofessional behaviour.  Could it be that they are afraid of the consequences of doing the right thing? They ordered him to take an ethics Course!  The College is grossly derelict in its duties and in commonsense.  They board of the college in question requires basic education in ethics. 

Item #2.  
   The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, otherwise known as Dr. Mehmet Oz, a surgeon who has prostituted his profession to become a snake oil salesman, continues to hold a medical license in the great United States.  This has convinced me of the disinterest of the licensing bodies in protecting the public, a privilege granted them for that purpose.  Instead, they seem much more interested in protecting their turf, their jobs and their power.  (We are no better here in Canada.)
   Dr. Oz (it sticks in my craw to even call him Dr., but I'm from another century!),is recommending cannabis as an 'exit drug' for the opioid crisis.  Because he is a 'celebrity' and one with a medical degree to boot, the public will be raptly convinced that the way out of opioid addiction is pot. It is difficult to believe that the decent, conscientious members of my profession, do not rise up and demand that this snake oil salesman be required to provide proof of such a claim.  The potential for damage of such statements is enormous.  Who speaks out to challenge it?  Very few.  The opinions of the real experts are barely acknowledged.  After all, who would not rather hear that pot cures everything, than that it is just a harmful drug that keeps the masses a little more manageable?

Item#3.  The Good Psychiatrist.
   The opioid crisis and The Good Psychiatrist.
   I read an article this week in a medical newspaper entitled, "How to address the opioid crisis."  It was written by a psychiatrist, who commented that this was the first article she had read that made sense to her in how to curtail the 'opioid crisis'.  Its essence was, 'invest in social capital'.  
the psychiatrist suggests that the best way to address abuse and dependence on opioids is to help communities strengthen the ties between people.  This is 'social warrior' talk, that sounds good until you begin to analyze what it actually means.  It means that drug dependencies are due to factors that communities should seek to address.   She suggested that unemployment and economy difficulties cause a rise in the opioid emergency room visits and deaths.  She suggests society can change to accommodate and make life more tolerable for the unfortunate addicts.  It implies that society is responsible for the opioide crisis.
   Nowhere does she state definitively that no matter what society does, no matter how many injection centres or Narcan kits are available, the final call is with the addict. Unfortunately, my observation has been that despite such measures the problems continue grow. 

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