By Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN NP
Women to Women
There was a time not so long ago when many women went to their healthcare providers and simply followed instructions. Years ago, our mothers and grandmothers didn’t have the internet as an information resource, but they did have physicians who had more time for research and getting to know their patients as people.
And for the most part, practitioners have always had their patients’ best interests at heart. Though many patients (and healthcare practitioners) still subscribe to the creed that “doctor knows best,” the framework for practicing medicine has changed dramatically. The fact is, health care has become a very big industry, one that often puts profits before the individual’s health — and that’s putting all of us at risk in the process.
Assembly-line medicine affords practitioners very little freedom to tailor a patient’s care to the individual. As this happens, I talk to more and more women who find themselves taking medications or undergoing procedures without truly understanding their practitioner’s reasons for prescribing them. Protocols are set forth, studies released, and one-size-fits-all treatments are presented, but lost in the mix are the unique needs and circumstances of each person. Sadly, very few women or practitioners are stopping to ask questions or really understand the implications of these so-called “best practices.”
With headlines about states mandating the new HPV vaccine Gardasil for young girls without long-term research, widespread use of cholesterol drugs even among children, and the countless women who have come to me thinking they had no choice but to have a hysterectomy, I think it’s time to remind women who is steering the ship when it comes their health care. I know that health issues can instill a lot of fear in women, especially today, but making fear-based decisions is never as safe or effective as making informed ones.
Let’s take a closer look at where modern medicine falls short, and how you can safely navigate through the system to stay healthy naturally.