While scanning the Internet today, I came across an article / video of a lab-coated physician blasting the use of high dose vitamins and their potential disastrous consequences (watch here). So, what did I do? I promptly posted a comment: “As a physician, I am aware of only a dozen deaths by vitamin overdose in the last 20 years. However, in our country the third leading cause of death, after heart disease and cancer, is physician error, including adverse medication reactions. Hmmm … I wonder which area should concern me more?”
After the post, I had to ask myself: Was I always this cynical? Was I always this skeptical of our health care system? My honest opinion? Nope, I was not always this bad. Our health care system was not always this bad. But it is now. Let’s not fool ourselves. Our health care system is a national disgrace. Forget what the politicians tell you. Our health care system is the worst of any industrial country. Heck, as for the quality of our health care system, we rank below Columbia, Chile, and Costa Rica. Are you kidding me? Below Columbia? Really?
Now, some of you are going to blame President Obama. Spoiler alert. Obamacare has not really started. Some of you may want to blame the physicians. After all, the average physician visit is down to 7 minutes. Let’s see. That allows the physician just enough time to hear your complaint and write a prescription. Which explains why a majority of Americans take at least one prescription drug every week. Currently, one in 10 Americans take an antidepressant medication daily. Shouldn’t that lab-coated physician be more concerned with those facts?
So, whom do I blame? The list is endless and probably confusing (until you read The Boomer Survivor Kit – available here). It includes The American Medical Association, the Institute of Medicine, the American Institute for Cancer Research, the Federal Drug Administration, the Food and Nutrition Board, the National Dairy Counsel, and the American Meat Institute. And I have not mentioned (yet) the pharmaceutical companies or the insurance companies. Let’s also not forget Congress, which has caved to self-serving health care lobbyists for years.
But does it matter who you blame? No. Why? Because the responsibility for good health rests on you, not on our health care system. If you are going to regain your health (physical and/or emotional), you are going to have to take the appropriate steps. All those pills? They only offer so much. Which is why I created my 9-step approach to improving yourself (including your health), your relationships, and your life. Now, you may not believe in all of my points, but believe in this statement: today, more so than any time in your life, your health is in your own hands. Don’t ask if it were always this bad. Instead, ask what good you can do for yourself.