People do not always realize the massive conflicts of interest that doctors are so often face, especially in this day in age when taking on a medical career to actually help people is regarded as a quaint old fashioned notion, and the system and our money oriented society does everything it can to encourage doctors to maximize profits above all else. The conflict arises when doctors rightly see health promotion and restraining from using unnecessary treatment as limiters to their money making potential. Chronic patients with decades of medical visits, treatments and tests represent the gift that just keep giving to the whole medical system (doctors, big Pharma, hospitals, administrators, etc.). Healthy people are ruinous to the medical system.
When we look at doctors as businessmen focused on maximizing profit, then unnecessary tests and useless treatments-as well as avoiding real health, suddenly start to look very attractive. Of course, there still are ethical doctor around, but I believe that there has been a steady decline in doctor´s ethics over the years. I am astounded when I hear doctors make statements that they do not wash their hands, or do physical examinations of patients, because it would “take too much time”, and thus cut into their profit margins. Less time with each patient means less patients who can be billed hundreds of dollars for each 10 minute visit. And doctors say these comments on the record without even blushing.
The days when patients should just blindly trust in the good intentions of the MD are over. You have to be your own advocate and skeptical. Asking a doctor if you need an extra test or procedure is often like asking a car dealer or a real estate agent if you need a new car or house. You would treat these people as salespeople with vested interests, and doctors should be given the same treatment. Not all doctors have sold out, but too many have for you to just blindly trust them.
This is the healthcare that we have in the US. It is cartelized and monopolized to cut out the competition, reduce choice, and drive up costs…to drive up profits. We have the worst of a government regulated system and a greedy private system. We pay hundreds of dollars for 10 minutes of biased and substandard “treatment” in a typical doctor´s visit. This is what we have come to I am afraid. We have become captive to the AMA, big Pharma, corporate hospitals, corrupt research centers, and their government co-conspirators.