This week's experience

Haven't had this happen in a while. Gotta vent.

Posted: July 26, 2014
By: Dr Howard Hadley

A patient came in the week for a scheduled follow-up visit.  People come in for all sorts of reasons, but he’s been coming in for the very standard lower back pain with sciatica.  When he first came in…not that long ago, he already had an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon because he was not improving with everything else his MD had recommended, including drugs (of course) and physical therapy.  When he went in to see the orthopedic surgeon on Wednesday, he told him that he’d been seeing me for a few weeks and was doing much better.  According to the patient, the whole visit was a total waste of time, and he was told that chiropractic wouldn’t hurt him, but it wasn’t going to help him either.  The patient generously told the surgeon that perhaps we just had different sciences that we were dealing with.  “We deal with science, those chiropractor don’t have any science” was the basic response from the surgeon, I’m told.  You can practically hear the “Harrumph!” from Blazing Saddles  Regardless, I almost never have anything negative to say about other practitioners.  I like to imagine that most are sincere.  And I certainly never attack the profession of medicine.  But to imagine that they have all the science, and that everyone else is just pretending, leaves out some inconvenient facts:

  1. A study just came out showing that the pain killer that has considered to be the first line for lower back pain (Paracetamol, known as Tylenol in the U.S.) in medicine is, in fact, no better than a placebo.
  2. Meanwhile, “Not only is acetaminophen, the active ingredient in Tylenol, the deadliest over-the-counter pain reliever on the U.S. market, but its dangers are being overlooked by members of the public and health officials.”
  3. Is that the sort of “science” that really has the power to look down on everyone else? 
  4. Meanwhile, how about one of the cash cows of the orthopedic surgeons?  “Why You Should Never Get Fusion Surgery For Plain Back Pain.”

Please allow me to be as clear as possible.  I am NOT against medicine, and I am not against surgery.  Both are often needed.  But I am against arrogant blowhards who think that MD = minor deity.