Whether it is alternative or allopathic (conventional), bad medicine is just bad medicine. We have patients who take no prescription or over-the-counter medication at any time. We see others who are taking 10-12 medications at once, who are interested in getting off as many of them as possible. They know that prescription drugs can be and often are toxic, and they experience those adverse effects. Certainly we deplore situations where patients enter the hospital with chest pain and are discharged with eight new medications, with no detailed advice on beneficial life-style changes, and told not to eat vegetables because they are on Coumadin.
There are times, however, that prescription drugs are useful and even life-saving. There are times when surgery can save a life, as in the evacuation of a subdural hematoma, and times when it is massively destructive, as in prefrontal lobotomy for psychiatric disorders.
I have seen physical therapy employed when the cause of pain was obvious but undiagnosed malignancy, herbs employed for critical aortic stenosis that needed surgery, congestive heart failure treated with acupuncture. The list goes on, and indeed every practitioner in every field of medicine has failed at some point to make the right diagnosis, or has offered the wrong therapy, or failed to offer the right therapy. Conventional practitioners are for the most part untrained in alternative therapies, and often demean them, while alternative practitioners have limited training in conventional diagnosis and treatment. (more…)