The practice of medicine in America has become an industry, meaning more specialists, more prescriptions, and more new professions in the field. In the past, Americans would visit one General Practitioner who oversaw their care; today, private insurance companies and federal oversight agencies have set a pricing scheme that encourages shorter visits to a greater number of specialists. For people without chronic conditions, that means more visits to different doctors which can result in exaggerated and inconsistent care, writes Carol Westbrook, M.D., Ph.D.
Too much health care can lower rather than improve your quality of life, and possibly even shorten it. ... Blood pressure medicines can lead to unrecognized fatigue and depression; the same can be seen with sleeping pills, muscle relaxants, and anti-anxiety meds. Even yearly PSA screening for prostate cancer can harm more men than it helps. ... And of course, the money you spend on medications can be substantial, and the extra time you spend going to an office visit cuts into your leisure time and your income--directly impacting your quality of life.
Dr. Westbrook recommends taking a detailed stock of your medical industry intake, including information concerning all your prescriptions and doctor visits. Once you have this information, you should begin to reduce the frequency of your encounters with doctors and medicine.
What's needed is a medical industry which focuses on patient results, rather than on provider billing:
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