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NEW SURVEY:
What do you most want to know about breathing?

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Prescription Drugs

"If they can get you asking the wrong questions, 
they don't have to worry about answers."  Thomas Pynchon

Over the years I have added links to many deeply informative pages. Some of these pages simply disappear to sites that are still up and running. Things do change but my suspicion is that the drug industry gets on them and makes them take the page down. My suggestion is when you find a page that has this critical information that you make a PDF of it. If you have a web site publish the PDF instead of the link. Sadly there are some sites these days such s Mercola.com that seem to thwart making PDFs.

"The whole concept of drug induced disease is much better known that it was 10 or 15 years ago?" Paul Seligman, Director of the FDA's Pharmacoepidemiology and Statistical Services as stated in USA Today March 14, 2005 Section B.  Though some drugs save lives, unfortunately, many drugs create unwanted side-effects aka illnesses, toxicity and death."

"Millions of Americans swallow pills that are supposed to make them feel better — physically or mentally — but covertly wreak havoc with their body and brain. Many older folks are dismissed as senile, when in fact their drugs are causing their memory lapses and confusion."  Dr. Julian Whitacker, MD

The number of drug company lobbyists increased from year 2001 to 2002, along with the amount spent on lobbying activities. In all, the drug industry spent close to $100 million--a record amount.

Drug companies are most interested in influencing issues related to prescription-drug benefits for Medicare recipients, generic drugs, and imported prescription drugs from Canada. I hear that prescription Drug coverage is being dropped from many corporate health plans. Partly due to expense and partly due to drug side effects and addictions.

Prescription Drug Addictions

Unintentional Poisoning Deaths --- United States, 1999--2004 - more about

A Canadian judge ruled that Prozac was the cause that led a teenage high school student-- with no prior history of violence--to inexplicably murder his friend by stabbing him with a single wound to the chest.  Peter Breggin, MD testified. This will open the gates for more cases like this. This is fantastic!  Read the full article here:
Women at Greater Risk of Drug Reactions
Taking more than one medication at a time is always a risky business, since it increases the likelihood of an adverse drug reaction (ADR) - a harmful, unintended, or unwanted effect of a medication. In the United States, ADRs are a leading cause of illness and account for as many as 106,000 deaths annually.

Prescription Drugs Anyone?
by
Raymond Francis
Breathing.com FAQ Medical Advisory Panel Member.
Prescription drugs are one of America’s leading causes of disease and death. The problem with prescription drugs is very simple…they do nothing to cure disease. All they do is suppress the symptoms of disease by disrupting normal cellular functions. Abnormal cell function is the very definition of disease, and since prescription drugs cause our cells to malfunction, then…

Yes, drugs cause disease, but we obscure this fact by calling these diseases "side effects." Ironically, the "side effects" are often more dangerous than the disease being treated in the first place. A recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that in one year over two million hospitalized patients suffered serious drug reactions, resulting in 106,000 deaths. Some side effects! But this is only the tip of the iceberg. Too many adverse reactions cause public concern and scrutiny, so just imagine a hospital’s incentive to understate them. Another article in JAMA estimated that only 1 in 20 reactions are reported. In truth, tens of millions are injured and an estimated 400,000 are killed every year by these dangerous poisons.  Anyone taking a prescription drug will be harmed to some degree by these drug-caused diseases.

Consider that disrupting even one cell function will ultimately have a negative effect on the entire body. A single prescription drug can disrupt multiple cell functions causing thousands of biochemical changes. Introducing a second drug can cause tens of thousands of changes, and a third can produce hundreds of thousands. Since the average patient over 60 is on four drugs, you can begin to comprehend the extent of the biochemical chaos being created. This is not healthy! Very often a second drug is prescribed to suppress the problems caused by the first, and then a third drug to suppress the symptoms caused by the first two, and so on.

Statistics show that prescriptions for antibiotics are still on the rise, despite medical journals warning doctors to cut down on them. Excessive antibiotic use has bred "superbugs" that the strongest antibiotics cannot kill. Right now, there are people sick with infections that are immune to all known antibiotics. Another commonly ignored "side effect" of antibiotics is that they also destroy normal gut flora, leading to maldigestion, malnutrition, and cellular toxicity. The damage antibiotics can do is scary, often permanent, and getting worse as doctors continue to overprescribe them.

Nobel Prize winning chemist Linus Pauling predicted that the use of toxic chemicals to suppress disease symptoms, which he called a toximolecular approach, was a blind alley that would lead nowhere. Where it has lead is to a catastrophically expensive and ineffective disease-care system, where people are killed and injured daily, where they remain chronically ill, and where the costs are projected to double in the next ten years. When someone is sick, they are already in toxic overload. Why compound their problems by giving them more toxins? Pauling proposed an orthomolecular approach where one provides molecules that are natural and helpful in supporting and restoring normal cell functions, allowing the body to heal and restore itself to health.

If you are now on prescription drugs, recognize that you are choosing to take them, and that there are safer, more natural, and more effective alternatives. You may want to find yourself another doctor, one practicing orthomolecular or preventive medicine, who will address the causes of your problem and help you get well, rather than prescribing poison to suppress your symptoms. To make a sick person well, you have give their cells all the things they need to function normally, and keep them away from the things that disrupt normal function. Prescription drugs disrupt normal cell function. When cell function is normalized, you cannot be sick. This is what the orthomolecular approach is all about. It's using vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and natural remedies to rebalance the body and make it well again. The obsolete approach of using toxic prescription drugs to suppress symptoms is guaranteed to make and keep people sick—yet pharmaceutical companies grow as sales go up every year. Go figure!

Raymond Francis is an M.I.T.-trained scientist and an internationally recognized leader in the emerging field of optimal health maintenance.

more about

From Mike White

DRUGS, DRUGS, DRUGS

From the Wall Street Journal June 22 2001. in italics

"In 1999,the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported more then 600,000 hospital admissions and 700,000 emergency-room visits resulting from medications that were correctly administered but nonetheless produced side effects - from intestinal bleeding to seizures to even death."  

Adverse reactions? Because the elderly take the most drugs, they are at the greatest risk. on  average, Americans who are 65 or older take six medications, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs, according to a number of studies. For residents of nursing homes and other long term care facilities, that average rises to eight. One man showed up to a Hebrew home who was taking 42.  

I have worked with several manic depressives, asthmatics, emphysema and COPD victims. They receive reflexive breathing training, breathing coordination, Optimal Breath Releases (OBR’s) and Strapping Techniques and  over weeks and months many have slowly backed off  their medications, felt their feelings, stopped gasping  and became calm, energized  and optimistic.  Too often the psychiatrist or medical doctor has turned a deaf ear to the patients' concerns about drug side effects. "Learn to live with it" is what the patient most often hears.

I’ve heard that the drug industry has a lock on most of psychiatry.  The overzealous usage of emergency pharmaceuticals that help so many in times of severe challenge has eroded the options of  living without them and their negative side effects.  Two recent published "possible" side effects in the Pill Book stemming from anti depression medicine were "labored breathing" and "shortness of   breath". The client had both.   

THIS is REALLY unfair.  The person also had no breathing pauses meaning this person’s "motor" never stops its high revolutions.  Even while appearing to be resting.  The breaths per minute and pause length should be a clue but no one cares to spend a few minutes to observe this natural feedback information source.  Get the Pill Book by Bantam books and see if your breathing issues might be listed in the side effects of your prescription medicine. 

The medical world needs to learn about healthy breathing.  Use the drugs, but learn to breathe better in conjunction with therapy and watch the need for the drugs reduce and often disappear.

Deaths in England Due to Medical Errors up 500%

By Sarah Lyall

About 1,200 people died in public hospitals in Britain last year because of mistakes in prescribing and administering medicine, according to a report published by a government watchdog group.

Outlined in a report by the Audit Commission, the errors included administering the wrong medicine - in one case, a breast cancer patient was given the sleeping drug Temazepam instead of the cancer drug Tamoxifen - to giving out the wrong dosage of the right drug, to unknowingly prescribing a drug that caused a fatal reaction.

The death toll was five times higher than that in 1990, according to the report.

In addition, the thousands of patients who survive medicine-related mistakes each year invariably become sicker, requiring more treatment that create an extra expense for the National Health Service, the report said.

"The health service is probably spending $725 million a year making better people who experienced an adverse incident or errors, and that does not include the human cost to patients," said Nick Mapstone, an author of the report.

"The number of drugs is increasing, the effectiveness - and therefore often the toxicity - of drugs is increasing, the number of people on multiple medications is increasing, and that increases the risk of interaction," Dr. Pickersgill told the BBC.

"We must also remember that one in six pharmacy posts in hospitals are unfilled, and new doctors who are doing the work on the wards are overworked as well," he said.

A number of highly publicized cases of drug-related error in recent months has brought home the problem. In one case, a cancer patient was prescribed and administered a drug at 1,000 times the recommended dose, according to the report.

In another case, at Queen's Medical Center in Nottingham, a teenager, who was a cancer patient in remission, fell into a coma and died after an anticancer drug was mistakenly injected into his spine.

"The recent events at Queen's Medical Center illustrate how day-to-day pressures can lead to acknowledged best practice being ignored," the report said.

Jackie Glatter, a spokeswoman for the Consumers' Association, which lobbies for patients' rights, said: "The report shows there is a strong need for detailed and clear patient information about treatments and medicines - not just in hospitals, but also when people are taking medicine at home."

New York Times December 20, 2001 

Dear friend
Long term affects, even short term, of any and all inhalers is terribly destructive to the human body, I know, I have been on them now for several years.  The medical quacks are well aware of this fact and yet, due to the fact that they don't know anything else that is what they prescribe.  For the most part the entire medical profession in the good ol' U.S. of A. are drug driven, pill pushers and totally controlled by the pharmaceutical companies.  There are alternatives out there and there are people with the answers, it is for us to dig them up, (the answers) through research.  Nancy, my dear little wife, is on several drugs, one of those drugs alone, the main one for treating her multiple sclerosis, Avonex, costs close to $1,300 per month for four I.M. shots!  The drug business is out of control in this country, many, many billions of dollars a year!!!  They fight alternative medicine tooth and claw.  But there is hope and it lies in the realm of alternative medicine and the gracious hand of a loving and merciful God!!!  for better health, Charles Towne

Recommended program

Ten Medications Withdrawn From The Market Since 1997 Because Of Serious, Often Lethal Side Effects

Rezulin: Given fast-track approval by the FDA, Rezulin was linked to sixty-three confirmed deaths and probably hundreds more. "We have real trouble," an FDA physician wrote in 1997, just a few months after Rezulin's approval (103). The drug wasn't withdrawn until 2000.

Lotronex: Against concerns of one of its own officers, the FDA approved Lotronex in February 2000. By the time it was withdrawn nine months later, the FDA had received reports of ninety-three hospitalizations, multiple emergency bowel surgeries, and five deaths (104).

Propulsid: A top-selling drug many years, the drug was linked to hundreds of cases of heart arrhythmias and one hundred deaths.

Redux: Taken by millions for weight loss after its approval in April 1996, Redux was soon linked to heart valve damage and a disabling, often lethal pulmonary disorder. Withdrawn in September 1997.

Pondimin: A component of Fen-Phen, the diet fad drug. Approved in 1973, Pondimin's link to heart valve damage an a lethal pulmonary disorder wasn't recognized until shortly before its withdrawal in 1997.

Duract: The painkiller was withdrawn when it was linked to severe, sometimes fatal liver failure.

Seldane: America's and the world's top-selling antihistamine for a decade, it took the FDA five years to recognize that Seldane was causing cardiac arrhythmias, blackouts, hospitalizations, and deaths -- and another eight years to withdraw it.

Hismanal: Approved in 1988 and soon known to cause cardiac arrhythmias, the drug was finally withdrawn in 1999.

Posicor: For treating hypertension, the drug was linked to life-threatening drug interactions and more than one hundred deaths. An expert on the advisory committee said, "Posicor should not have been approved (105)."

Raxar: Linked to cardiac toxicities and deaths.

Baycol - Google it

Viox  Google it

Propulsid  Google it

Palladone Google it

References for above ten medications

Sydney Morning Herald
August 4, 2003
Women who use Prozac and similar anti-depressants during pregnancy and breastfeeding could expose their babies to withdrawal and toxic effects, a federal government drugs watchdog has warned. The Adverse Drug Reactions Advisory Committee says it has received 26 reports of infants with withdrawal symptoms. The effects were attributable to mothers taking the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) drugs Aropax, Zoloft, Prozac and citalopram. The babies' symptoms included agitation, poor feeding, stomach upsets, convulsions, tremors, fever and respiratory disorders. They began within the first four days of birth and lasted two to three days. There were also 13 reports of adverse effects probably resulting from the transfer of SSRIs from breastmilk to the baby. Many of the symptoms of toxicity were similar to those of withdrawal but in two cases involved babies sleeping for prolonged periods. The watchdog's August bulletin quoted a study published in the Archives of Paediatric Medicine which found that almost one quarter (22 per cent) of newborns who were exposed to paroxetine (marketed in Australia as Aropax) from their mother in the third trimester needed prolonged hospitalisation associated with neonatal complications. The committee recommends the lowest dosage of the drugs be used during pregnancy and that mothers should consider not breastfeeding. "It is probable that neonatal withdrawal effects would be minimised by using the lowest effective maternal dose," it advises. "Breastmilk transfer can be treated by stopping or reducing the dose of SSRIs or by using formula milk."

Learn more about drug codes and classifications when you study
medical billing from home. Another option is to study prescription drug etymology.

Former Shill for Big Pharma Tells the Truth About Drug Testing
Erick Turner, a psychiatry professor at the Oregon State Health and Sciences University, woke up one day and realized that he was acting as a shill for pharmaceutical corporations. Worse, he was promoting drugs that not only provide very... http://www.naturalnews.com/023127.html

 

FDA Proposes New User-Friendly Prescription-Drug Labeling

ROCKVILLE, Md.-The FDA says it is taking the confusion out of physician drug-package inserts.

  The package inserts will have critical information printed up front with bullet points, in an easy-to-read format. The design is a direct response to the National Academy of Sciences’ assertion that medical errors may be responsible for 100,000 deaths per year and its recommendation that new package standards will “maximize safety.”

  The package insert is the critical link in the communication chain between drugmakers and health-care providers. Calling the proposed change “particularly valuable,” FDA Commissioner Dr. Jane E. Henney says it “will make important information available in a clear, consistent, and readable format that is essential to proper prescribing practices.”

  The proposed new format should help practitioners quickly find the most important information about a product, thereby decreasing preventable medical errors and improving treatment effectiveness.-Nancy Sharp

Every drug is unnatural and toxic to the body. The body has to get rid of them. No drug has any healing or curing power. They can only suppress symptoms and make us weaker. Our bodies do all of the healing desipite drugs, and all injured and sick animals and beings have been self-healing throughout history. See my story at http//www.colitis-crohns.com and see my web site for Living Nutrition Magazine http//www.livingnutrition.com and Healthful Living International http//www.healthfullivingintl.org. There is a growing legion of people who stopped taking medicines because they knew they were making them sicker, and healed up by changing their diet to fruits and veggies, getting plenty of rest and staying away from medical doctors and medicines. This route saved my life and many others'. Medicine does not lead to health. My Living Nutrition Magazine has many testimonials about self-healing without drugs. Below is an excerpt for you from my new book, Self Healing Power!. Call me if you'd like to chat.

Sincerely, Dave Klein  Publisher/Editor  Living Nutrition Magazine  Healthful Living Consultant  Healthful Living International  (707) 829-0462 dave@livingnutrition.com  http://www.livingnutrition.com  
http://www.colitis-crohns.com  
http://www.healthfullivingintl.com

Women at Greater Risk of Drug Reactions
Taking more than one medication at a time is always a risky business, since it increases the likelihood of an adverse drug reaction (ADR) - a harmful, unintended, or unwanted effect of a medication. In the United States, ADRs are a leading cause of illness and account for as many as 106,000 deaths annually.

According to the results of a number of recent studies, it's even more of a danger for women, in part because they are more likely to use multiple medications and dietary supplements. Sex -- based differences in metabolism, anatomy, and hormone levels also seem to play a role in why women experience more unwanted effects of drugs.

"Recent findings suggest women are significantly more likely to suffer from adverse drug interactions because of their biology and likelihood of taking more than one medication," said Phyllis Greenberger, president and CEO of the Society for Women's Health Research. "Women should think twice before combining even commonplace products like ibuprofen, St. John's Wort and oral contraceptives with other drugs."

A recent review of 48 studies in the United Kingdom revealed that adverse drug reactions to newly marketed drugs are 60% more common in women than in men. This sex difference was observed across all age groups older than 19 years old. Other studies have found less pronounced, yet significantly higher risks of ADRs among women.

Women need not look further than their own medicine cabinet for potentially problematic combinations, experts warn. For instance, oral contraceptives can fail resulting in pregnancy when taken in combination with the antibiotics rifampin, tetracycline or penicillin.

Some antacids can inactivate fluoroquinolones, drugs often prescribed for urinary tract infections, allowing infections to progress unchecked. In addition, combining selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) with other types of antidepressants or pain medications can have serious consequences.

Their greater use of multiple drugs is not the only reason women are at an elevated risk of adverse drug reactions. Research points to a number of other possible mechanisms for this sex-based difference. Variations between men and women in liver and kidney functioning, which affects drug metabolism, as well as anatomy seem to influence the incidence of adverse drug reactions.

On average, women have a lower body weight, smaller organ size, reduced blood flow and a higher proportion of fat compared with men. Overall differences in hormonal activity between, the sexes affect the way drugs are processed, absorbed and cleared by the body as well. Because of these sex-differences, the optimally safe and effective dose of a drug varies between men and women. Research suggests that a significant percentage of adverse drug events among women may be due to unnecessarily high doses of frequently prescribed drugs.

What's more, women should refer to a drug reference book like The Pill Book, if possible, according to Maryann Napoli, associate director of the Center for Medical Consumers in New York City. Almost all local libraries have a drug reference book in their collection and there are also some reliable sources of drug information on the Internet. Napoli suggests women get in the habit of reading up on every prescription or over-the-counter drug before they start using it.

From Dr. Joe Mercola: "One of the major players at Reuters, the world’s primary source of news information, is also a chairman of drug giant GlaxoSmithKline. It doesn’t take much intelligence to understand that the news service is heavily prejudiced in favor of the drug company. Fortunately, we are leveling the playing field and are getting out the truth about health care and drugs."

Drug-related morbidity and mortality have been estimated to cost more that $136 billion a year in United States. These estimates are higher than the total cost of cardiovascular care or diabetes care in the United States. A major component of these costs is adverse drug reactions (ADE). Older people use more prescription drugs.

Read Examining Your Doctor: A patient's guide in avoiding harmful medical care.  Dr. Timothy McCall

PODCAST
In this fascinating interview, licensed pharmacist Suzy Cohen reveals the dangers of pharmaceuticals and why people should get off prescription drugs whenever possible. (This is from a pharmacist!) Her site is www.DearPharmacist.com Get her book Drug Muggers
The pod cast  Wirth Suzy and Mike Adams. VERY long download. Be patient.

MORE
An Unprecedented Demographic Shift The American population is getting older. Each day in this country about 6,000 people turn 65. By 2020, there will be 50 million older Americans and as many as 70 million by 2030. In less than 20 years there will be as many people over 65 as children under 18 in our population. What are the health care implications of this seismic shift in demographics? To put the aging population in a health care perspective consider that older Americans currently account for 36% of hospital stays, 49% of all days of hospital care, and 50% of all physician hours.

The number of physicians with formal training in caring for the elderly are inadequate to care even for today’s older population let alone to care for the coming wave of older Americans. Today we have only about 9,000 geriatricians (by comparison, there are currently about 34,000 pediatricians!) and that number is expected to drop to 6,000 or so by 2004 as some retire and others leave because of lower Medicare reimbursements. What to do?

A pharmaceutical salesman I spoke with justifies giving drugs to people because they will not take responsibility for taking charge of there own self healing. That patient compliance is hard to come by (which is partly true but that is no reason to poison them with drug side effects). To me that is a major misunderstanding of the facts. Many would do what was asked of them if there were more examples of successes but the entire issue is cloaked in medical bafflegab and so called "legitimate" clinical studies.

The truth is that most non drug methods are invalidated by physicians as being useless or dangerous with the standard "where is the double blind study?"  These "harbingers of objectivity" may well know that no natural nutritionals have the money to pay for million dollar studies.  Some physicians know the truth and tell it albeit quietly but at risk for censure within their own medical community. How sad for them.

EXAMPLE OF ELIMINATING PRESCRIPTION DRUGS RELATED TO CROHN'S DISEASE
An increasing number of people are searching for ways to wean themselves off prescribed medications. There is good news for those who have Crohn's disease. A recently released German study successfully used the Chinese herb wormwood (also called Artemisia or "Sweet Annie") to reduce the dose of the steroid prednisone. There was an almost complete remission in those of the group of Crohn's patients receiving the wormwood compared to none in the placebo group. Review "Ancient Folk Remedy Reduces Steroid Dosage" at and determine if this is something you should discuss with your physician.

See also Effects of Prescription Drugs on Nutrition.

10 dangerous prescription drugs This link was later replaced with a benign batch of useless info.

The Town of Allopath 

Tell drug makers that you, your doctor and your family deserve the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about a drug.  Sign our petition to Big Pharma by filling in the form below.

Third leading cause of death in America 

Sources of Medications That May Directly or Indirectly Cause Breathing Difficulties or Hinder Proper Oxygen Utilization
Naturedoc  Livestrong    Mercola-drugs-breathing  Better MedicineDrugs.com - Aspirin

Prescription Drug salesperson's "gifts".

There are increasing numbers of physicians who are daily reducing or eliminating drug usage. This becomes easier when oxygen is added to the equation.  Majid Ali, MD is one of those physicians who integrate oxygen insights into his daily medical practice. 

Eight Drugs your doctor would never take.  This link was later replaced with a benign batch of useless info.

"How “Scientific” is Scientific Medicine?

“It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or
authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion,
which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an
editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.”
—Marcia Angell, New York Review of Books, January 15, 2009

Great Drug Ad Parody.

Comments from Len Saputo, MD

Medical Schools. (a core issue)
Doctor and Patient

Rethinking the Way We Rank Medical Schools

By PAULINE W. CHEN, M.D. Published: June 17, 2010  

During my internship, the first year after graduating from medical school, I took care of a middle-aged woman who began our first conversation with a question that patients still ask me today.

 “So doctor,” she said as I pulled my stethoscope out to listen to her heart, “where did you go to medical school?”

In a social context, I might have considered her question to be polite chatter, a filler during an awkward quiet moment. But on that particular afternoon her words felt more like a dart lobbed at what I had presumed to be a budding and promising patient-doctor relationship.

Trust from this patient, I remember thinking, is not going to depend on my bedside manner or clinical judgment but my medical school.

But even before I had placed my stethoscope bell against my patient’s chest, I realized that I, too, had been culpable of submitting doctors to the same line of questioning. Although I might have satisfied my curiosity more surreptitiously — searching on the Internet, scanning hospital directories, inconspicuously craning my neck to discern Latinized school names on diplomas — I was just as eager as my patient to learn about the medical schools my doctors had attended.

Once I had the information, I would do what my patient did that afternoon: I would mentally find its place within the medical school hierarchy in my mind. Like some existential fast forward button, the right answer to this question could raise the trust in any patient-doctor relationship to a whole new level without a second thought, because by virtue of having graduated from a “good” school, that doctor had the ability to address the most pressing needs of all of his or her patients.

The thought process was easy — good school, good doctor; bad school, bad doctor.

Maybe.
Shaped by magazine lists, friends’ and strangers’ confirmations and professional hearsay, the notion that a medical school’s quality can be ranked and then passed on directly to their graduates has become an integral part of American culture. But most of these popular rankings reflect a school’s highly specialized research funding and capabilities, not the general quality of its medical school graduates. Criteria like research funding and cutting edge investigations are of course significant, but they more accurately reflect the social needs of the previous century when medicine, backed by scientific investigation, was just starting to make a difference in the health care outcomes of patients.

Thanks to many of those advances, the population as a whole has successfully aged. But the drive to elucidate, for example, the molecular basis of high blood pressure has in turn become less urgent. Instead, other, more social, health care issues have reached critical points: the shortage of primary care physicians; the lack of accessible health care and providers in certain areas of the country; and the yawning disparity between racial and economic backgrounds of those who become doctors and those who are their patients.

Despite the changes in patient needs, many patients, and their doctors, continue to fall back on old rankings, assuming that institutions that succeeded in addressing the needs of the 20th century can still do so in the 21st. But according to a report published this week in The Annals of Internal Medicine, it is time to reexamine that assumption.

Researchers from the George Washington University School of Medicine looked at the more than 60,000 graduates of America’s 141 medical schools — both allopathic and osteopathic — from 1999 to 2001. Putting the issues of primary care shortage, underserved communities and workforce diversity under the banner of “social mission,” the researchers found that many of the schools that were traditionally ranked highly were also among those least focused and least successful in addressing the most pressing issues facing the country right now.

“The absolute irreducible mission of medical schools is the education and graduation of doctors to care for the country as a whole,” said Dr. Fitzhugh Mullan, lead author of the study and a professor of health policy and pediatrics at the university. “U.S. medical education has drifted over to this highly rarified and specialized focus that has resulted in some major shortfalls.”

The funding system has encouraged this drift toward specialization and hi-tech research. The investigators also found that institutions that received more federally funded grants, in the form of research grants from the National Institutes of Health, also tended to devote fewer efforts to a school’s social mission. Grant money and the security it affords individuals and institutions drive institutions to emphasize research, sometimes at the expense of other urgent but less lucrative endeavors.

The opportunity to learn from and be mentored by faculty members involved with the latest research can be stimulating for medical students, but the pressure to bring grant money into an institution can draw even the most enthusiastic educator away from students and back to the laboratory bench. “Research is not the same as medical education,” Dr. Mullan observed. “Research is important, but it can overwhelm.”

And when medical schools “are already heavily invested in a mission that is traditional and research oriented,” noted Dr. Mullan, broadening their focus can be slow and difficult, even if they are aware of the growing crises in primary care and the health care work force.

In recent years, some visionary medical educators have left older institutions in an effort to jump-start such changes in new medical schools. Most of these new schools, sometimes referred to as “millennial medical schools,” embrace missions that unabashedly attempt to address some of the ills of the current health care system. The A.T. Still University of Health Sciences School of Osteopathic Medicine in Mesa, Ariz., and the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine at Florida International University in Miami, for example, “embed” students in underserved areas from as early as the first year of medical school. Other institutions, like the Hofstra-North Shore -LIJ School of Medicine, which is due to begin classes in August 2011, have made it a priority to educate students from diverse, nontraditional backgrounds.

Naysayers warn that this redirection of focus, whether in established medical schools or new ones, will decrease the selectivity of students and produce less competitive and less competent future physicians. But educators like Dr. Mullan counter that traditional selection criteria based on cognitive exams and premedical course grades do not necessarily translate into clinical ability.

“Doctors who have done very well on everything from kindergarten to residency training in terms of getting into prestige places are assumed to have sharp intellects,” Dr. Mullan said. “But none of that correlates in any scientific way with their performance as physicians.” The more relevant measure of high level competency, Dr. Mullan asserts, is the multiple certification evaluations that take place during medical school, training and licensure. “They have to pass these, otherwise they cannot practice.”

Moreover, Dr. Mullan noted, “If there’s not even a doctor near where you live who can offer services, then the quality a priori is bad.”

“The mission and function of all schools won’t be and shouldn’t be the same,” Dr. Mullan added. “But we all might think about how we could be a little more responsive to the ongoing needs of patients and of our country. If we continue to produce more doctors in the system we have now, we won’t be able to address the needs, the health outcomes and certainly the populations that are underserved, dying and suffering as a result of it.”

Join the discussion on the Well blog, “Redefining ‘the Best’ Medical Schools.”

In defense of some prescription Drugs.
It is the lack of patient compliance that is the hardest for ANY health professional to overcome.  Drugs can sometimes give you strength and reality and hope so that you can eventually take over. And you do.
The "legal" drug equation is out of balance because either the person is not willing (or sometimes able) to take immediate or eventual charge and the doctor/guide lets them get away with that too long, and/or the overused aspects of drug usage including conflicting, confusing and harmful side effects compromising one's self determinism.

How Regulation of Medicine is Bankrupting the United States and What Congress Can Do to Stop It
11 page PDF synopsis of his book titled Pharmocracy. His book is also available at amazon.com

Key premise
"Few understand that the underlying purpose of regulations is to provide a government-protected advantage to the group favoring the regulation. It's not about how a regulation will protect the public, but a matter of how it can ~financially benefit a special interest"

Two insightful emails.
"
you have to be very careful talking about how meds don't work with professionals who have seen them work and with patients who insists they are better on the medication. I've come across people who think psych. meds are the devil and others who claim the medication has saved his or her life. Is it a placebo? Is it due to a chemical change? Well, no one can really know that.  We're probably only scratching at the surface of how powerful the placebo effect is. Still, we can't deny that the medication works for many people, which is why I think the focus should be on their overuse ( especially in kids)  the quickness to prescribe them, so little talk therapy and the lack of marketing and education for alternative, safe approaches.  As much as I'd like to blame doctors and big pharma for the psych. prescription craze,  a lot of people come to the doctor's office DEMANDING the drug they saw on a TV commercial. If we could end direct to consumer marketing--that's a start, too... in all areas of medicine. "

"It is an interesting thing how, in different facets of humanity's sufferings, some people just "get it," Rick.  After I founded Safe Harbor in 1998, I was utterly amazed at the array of public and professionals who "get it" about psychiatry and meds.  I hear from them continuously.  Once you see it, it's like a gong against the side of your head.  There's a whole spectrum, from people who think meds should never be used - which is not practical, in my view - to those who know they are overused but shrug it off.  But when I tell people what I do with Safe Harbor, I have yet to find someone, other than some psychiatrists and NAMI officials, who thinks current practice is a good idea and an ideal situation.  D 

"BOTTOM LINE
The only rational answer is to take personal responsibility for your health. Reduce or eliminate need for medical care by avoiding sugar, most grains, pasteurized dairy, non organic red meat, and caffeine. To exercise moderately, and eat plenty of organic raw living foods. AND
develop your breathing.

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