Medical Practices may be Useless or Worse

More than 40 percent of established practices studied were found to be ineffective or harmful, 38 percent beneficial, and the remaining 22 percent unknown.

- Nicholas Bakalar

July 13, 2010, New York Times

Innovations Should be Tested and not Ignored if they Work 

There are many innovations in the practice of medicine that are presented to doctors on a regular basis. Many doctors are victims of habit, or inertia, ignorance, or just lack of caring and plain negligence, and that determines what they do in dealing with patient’s problems – the usual, the familiar, and not the new that may have proven effective.  Of course, new and untested procedures are not recommended until they are proven effective for the malady the doctor is treating.  That is the safe way. Unfortunately, many stick with old methods though they really no longer work or are continued in use when another emerges that is proven to be much better. (Dr. David Brown, Washington University of Medicine)

Forty Percent of Procedures Had no Significant Effect

In Becker’s Spine Review, it may be noted that a new study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings has determined that 146 common medical interventions are equivalent to doing nothing. In 1,344 studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine between 2001 and 2010 that examined or tested a medical intervention. Of the 363 practices considered, 146, or 40 percent, had no significant effect.


It is amazing that in an era of what is called “evidence based medicine,” how much evidence goes against treatments doctors blithely prescribe and perform. For example, cardiologists give stent implants with invasive cardiac catheterization to men and women who don’t have any hint of coronary heart disease. It has been found that stents for patients with stable heart disease don’t prevent heart attacks or extend lives. People in the process of having a heart attack should never get stents. But cardiologists put hundreds of thousands of stents in with stable heart conditions every year.

Just a few Examples

A 2012 study by the Australian Department of Health and Aging identified 156 standard medical treatments that are ineffective and/or unsafe. For example:

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    Orthopedic surgeons perform thousands of procedures to repair torn meniscuses each year. But studies show physical therapy is just as effective.
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    Studies also show that CPR is no more effective when given with assisted breathing than when chest compressions are used alone.
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    Women with swollen arms following breast cancer surgery are told not to exercise their arms. But evidence shows moderate exercise actually reduces swelling.

Plus, as I previously reported, a review of 48 studies found that experts underestimate the harms of cancer screenings and overestimate their benefits.

It’s the same sad story with drugs

In 2013, U.S. doctors examined all 363 studies on antibiotics published in the New England Journal ofMedicine between 2001 and 2010. They found the standard practice of prescribing antibiotics to treat persistent Lyme disease did nothing to help. Yet prescribing these antibiotics remains the first line of treatment in many practices.

In another investigative study, researchers looked at a drug used to dramatically lower blood pressure in diabetic patients. The drug caused more side effects and was no more effective at preventing heart attacks or deaths than milder treatments that allowed for somewhat higher blood pressure. (Dr. McOzzi’s “Insider Cures.”)

Some that Were Harmful

Among the practices found to be ineffective or harmful were the routine use of hormone therapy in postmenopausal women; high-dose chemotherapy, a complex and expensive treatment for breast cancer that was found to be no better than conventional chemotherapy; and intensive glucose lowering in Type 2 diabetes patients in intensive care, which not only failed to reduce cardiovascular events but actually increased mortality.

In some instances, doctors routinely refused to give beneficial therapies despite a lack of evidence that they were harmful. Vaccines were unnecessarily withheld from multiple sclerosis patients in the belief that they increased flare-ups; women with lupus were denied oral contraceptives for fear they increased the severity of the disease; and epidural anesthesia was delayed during childbirth on the theory it increased the rate of Caesarean sections. Yet good studies showed that none of these fears was justified.

Lag period

“Contradicted practices don’t disappear immediately,” said Dr. Vinay Prasad. “There’s an inertia, a 10-year period of time when the contradicted procedure continues to be practiced.”

Don’t Doctors Talk to Each Other?

 With all of the expensive seminars and meetings Medical doctors have, why don’t they talk about procedures that are ineffective or even harmful?  Why do they stick to old ways when others are better?  Surely they talk to each other about what works and what doesn’t.  This is the 21st Century. We have the most educated and informed medical acumen in history, the most progressive communication systems extant, and yet some are just stuck.  This, in part, accounts for the fact that we are 43rd in rank of international healthcare, 37th in life expectancy, the most obese and tops in use of Opiods.

A Walk in the Woods

 It seems that doctors are all such individualists that they refuse to work together on what really works to cure the patient, so fearful of lawsuits they stick with old methods that are secure, or just won’t learn what works, don’t care, or are just stuck and immobile. But the bills mount for the patient, no cure, only less and less money for their families. They are like hikers all taking different paths to get to the same destination when they could align on a straight path and it takes them there sooner, safer and just as much fun.

Dr. Mercola Says:

There is an answer, which can solve the whole problem. Here is what Dr. Mercola said in his article, “Top Ten Ways the American Health Care System Fails.”

“Ronald Reagan hit it right on the nose when he said, “Government doesn’t solve problems—it subsidizes them.”  Integrative medicine (IM) is a better alternative to the current system, as it offers a combination of conventional medical therapies and complementary or alternative therapies for which there is some high-quality scientific evidence for safety and effectiveness.  The more you take responsibility for your own health by nurturing your body, the less you will need to rely on the “disease care” system that passes for health care in this country.”

The Answer

“The Future Model of Health Care and You”

 When I ask others what would they consider to be the ideal place to get treated for any injury, illness, or physical problem they may experience, there is invariably the same answer.  “I want to go where I can get help to handle any problem I may have”

Nowadays with all of the specialization, it is like going to one store for the milk, another for the bread, and another for the butter. On top of that none of the stores talk to each other. Thus there are supermarkets, Walmart, Target, that supply everything you need under one roof.

So extend this to an office where you can see a Medical Doctor for treatment, medication; a Chiropractor for relief of pain by adjustment and handling of nutritional needs; stem cell therapy, acupuncture, massage and other caregivers who can provide the relief and help needed.

There you have Advanced Medical Integration in a nutshell, a professional caregiver that gives real care and the care that is needed. All in one place. The future of healthcare is here, now, in Advance Medical Integration, and it is yours for the asking. Integrate your practice now so you can serve everyone anything needed.  Don’t hesitate, get on this movement which is the future model of healthcare, now.

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