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The Path of Medicine

Monday, November 01, 1999 by TheDoc

Ok, let me first start out by saying that I know this has nothing to do with gaming, but I think it's an important issue and I need to vent some.

I have a pretty good medical background. I was an EMT, I've got my phlebotmist's certificate, I was a CNA and a pre-med student. So in my life I've come to love medicine (hence my nick, TheDoc) and am pretty good at it. I've spent more time in the ER than some doctors. (One summer I put in more than 500 hours in 3 months)... Anyway, on to my complaint.

First, I cannot stand to see how many doctors are simply treating the symptoms of things, rather than treating the problem itself. I use to work in psych and I hated seeing that the patients were simply medicated instead of trying to find out what the problems could be. Now I know that not everything can be cured or even understood, but this is almost the year 2000 and you'd think that some progress can be made somewhere.

This brings me to my second complaint. Why are we spending billions and billions of dollars on medical advances and ultimately have nothing to show for it? I mean what was the last big accomplishment you remember? Nothing much with AIDS, nothing on SIDS, nothing with diabetes, cancer, baby mortality, colds, flu's, MS, parkinsons, terettes, downs syndrome, arthritis, anything. Thinking about it, the last major medical advance that I can recall is the cure or vaccination for polio or even the hepatitis B vaccination, and even that was quite a while ago.

For all this money we are spending, why is it that we cannot seem to cure anything? Are the companies that are trying to find a cure, simply trying to find ways to treat the symptoms? I think so... Because if they actually found a cure to the disease, what would be left for them? A few years of getting money to cure the people with the disease, and then nothing but maybe residual monies for the vaccinations? So maybe they are spending all that money on finding ways to simply put a temporary bandaid on the symptoms and are not making that much progress on actually finding a cure for the problem (remember that they aren't really monitarily inclined to do so)... If they find a cure, all the grant money goes away too.

I propose this. While it may cause some debate over what to treat and in what order, I propose that we form some sort of orginazation like CDC (centers for disease control) and give them all the money, and simply start on one disease until they have cured that, and move on to the next. If all of the other companies have to use their own money, the likelyhood of them keeping the best researchers (who usually don't work for them anyways) is slim, so they can work for the organization. With most of the top people working for them, and nothing but simply curing an illness as a motive, I believe that these diseases can be cured in a matter of years. With each disease taking a number of years, we could have a big chunk of the medical health issues eraticated in 20 years or so. Even if not, I believe we'd have better progress than we do now. Lets start putting the money back into health, and finding a cure for things, than into the drug marketing pockets like it is now.

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