Take, for instance, the latest study to be published in the medical journal, The Lancet, which has reported that doctors routinely overprescribe antibiotics for viral infections. You don’t say? Really? Wow. Seems like that same idea was reported right here in this blog back in October. According to the study, 80% of sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses) cases in the U.S. are prescribed antibiotics despite the fact that the majority are due to the common cold virus. And just like I said in my October post: Antibiotics don’t do diddly against viruses–they’re meant exclusively to fight bacterial infections.
OK, here’s the good part: The study’s authors then attempt to explain the inordinate amount of antibiotics prescriptions by stating that when the patient has had the symptoms for a long time, doctors assume it’s due to a bacterial infection….(Pause…silence)
Ah, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha….what a joke. Do any of you buy that baloney? Let me tell you the real deal (and this information comes straight from a medical doctor who taught me in chiropractic college): Doctors prescribes medications at nearly every doctor’s visit regardless of the situation because, and I quote, “the patient expects it”. That’s the truth in a nutshell: Doctors prescribe antibiotics full well knowing they’re useless against viral infections, precisely because the patient expects something, not because it’s the right thing to do, but because they know the patient wants it and will go somewhere else to get it. In other words, there ain’t much of a market for non-prescribing M.D.s, period.
The only reason this study has come out at all is because of the explosion of antibiotic resistant bacteria that have penetrated our world, otherwise, trust me, the practice would continue. Antibiotic resistant bacteria is a growing and severely dangerous phenomenon. There is no longer time to play around, so now the medical community is asking how. But, unfortunately, you’ll never get to the truth by hiding it, or in the case of these authors’ conclusions, by asking the wrong questions.
I’m going to end this by being as fair as I can to my medical brothers and sisters–it’s not totally their fault. Overprescribing antibiotics really is a consequence of what the public wants, and demands–like most things–and people really do yearn for a magic bullet. But what makes the medical clinician at least equally responsible is that they know better. It may be true that a medical business which doesn’t prescribe medicines will soon have to close its doors; however, it may be time to start pushing a more health-responsible agenda, which would be to teach patients that their bodies have everything necessary to fight the common cold virus, and that antibiotics are unnecessary, and useless, in these cases. Still–I just love to see them squirm.