Why Your Doctor May Not Be As Excited About Natural Medicine As You Are


As you learn more about taking control of your health and looking outside of what your conventional doctor can offer you, you may be surprised that they may not be as excited as you are. I have thought about this a lot over the last few years as I work in the hospital and see how the attending doctors and medical residents work with my patients.

I truly feel they are in medicine to help people get better, but our current medical system is not set up to reward curing and preventing chronic diseases. It is set up to diagnose and treat with surgery and pharmaceuticals.  Don’t get me wrong, these modalities have their place, but should be used in most cases as a last resort due to the side effects and the risk involved.

From my perspective, many get into medicine because they believe it is the only way to get people well for the most part. This is missing the mark by a long shot.  Once you get done with medical school, you are somewhat indoctrinated into the system. You only have so many tools in your tool basket. If you try to step out of that box you could threaten all that you have worked so hard for and spent so much money and time on. This creates fear in the practitioner, and they want to go along to get along.  Doctors usually will not see that they are boxed in until they have some experience under their belt, and by then it is very difficult to change the way they practice.

Initially, practicing natural medicine will decrease their income, and it is difficult to do this once you have built up your lifestyle around making a certain income level. Also, most practitioners have hundreds of thousands in student loans they must pay back when they first start practicing.

The system is set up to reward them for following a so-called evidence-based approach and negatively incentivizes them for following natural approaches, or not intervening at all. Also, they do not have the time to discuss natural means such as, diet, and lifestyle in the current paradigm. 

Practitioners do not have time to do unbiased research when they are seeing thirty patients a day and trying to be there for their families on the weekends. Their continuing education comes from the drug reps and drug companies, since they are the ones spending the money marketing and sending reps to these doctors’ offices. This puts the focus on pharmaceuticals instead of natural methods to try to help people.

Some doctors may be in denial or angry when they finally realize the conventional system they invested so much of themselves into is not the end -all -be -all for health, and a lot of times it makes people sicker. Some get into this profession to help people, family pressure, respect, or maybe to make a lot of income. There are a lot of reasons practitioners get into medicine I have found.

Colleagues and family may be surprised by the switch to a different form of medicine, at first, but often family and, especially, colleagues may be a practitioner’s biggest critic when they are considering a change.

I was speaking with a younger pain doctor the other day, and he mentioned that his colleagues who work for private practices are often pressured and incentivized to go against what they learned in school by getting patients dependent on pain medications.  In other words, they advance patients through the non-addictive to the addictive pain medications a lot quicker than they were taught in school. This gets the patient dependent and will have them as a constant customer of the clinic. This also does not help the patient get to the root of the problem and only provides them temporary relief along with all the side effects of pain medication. 

He mentioned the older pain doctors just do not care anymore and have given up on their initial purpose of helping patients, and now do it mostly for the money. The younger doctors see the lifestyle, the older doctors live and want that for themselves and their family.

This younger doctor works for the government, and he is not rewarded for writing more scripts or having his patients dependent on him for pain relief. He mentioned patients would often come in from the private sector, and he mentioned, "they think we do not want to write them anything, but all we are doing is trying to keep them from getting addicted and do what I was taught in school."

We have to start incentivizing and rewarding wellness instead of illness. This goes for the practitioner, as well as the patient.

The health care system is moving in this direction, but our health care system did not become disease-focused overnight. It will not change to a focus on wellness overnight, either.  We have to bring back the “Health” in health care.

More and more options for a wellness approach are being offered all the time. As this happens, more practitioners will be open to natural medicine. Talk to your provider about natural medicine and teach them what you are doing and how it is helping you. If they seem happy to learn from you and work with you on taking a more natural approach, then keep working with them. If not, you should FIRE them, and this will eventually shift the market to incentivize wellness rather than disease. It will take all of us to do this. One step at a time, we will succeed.  Health care is expensive, shouldn’t you get your money’s worth?

If you are having trouble finding someone who will listen to your story and who will walk alongside you on your journey back to health, Bethany and I are here to assist you. Also, we can connect you with a practitioner who will be focused on getting you well and be open to natural approaches. Do not hesitate to contact us today to set up a free fifteen-minute consultation.  We are here to help and serve you, our readers.

To your health,

Coach Brian