I want to point out right at the beginning of this article that I have nothing against doctors. Quite contrary. I admire their grit and willingness to study one of the most demanding disciplines while sacrificing and potentially ruining their health, free time and family in the name of their mission and patients. What I describe below can be considered as a systematic error, not the flaw of any individual doctor.
I recently finished the book Lies My Doctor Told Me by Dr. Ken Berry. I follow Ken for some time on social networks and I consider him one of the bravest American physicians because he risks his medical license by his willingness to speak honestly about some quite sensitive topics.
I have no understanding regarding the American medical system, but I am willing to believe that there is a big business of Big Pharma and Big Food behind the committee that has the power to grant, suspend or remove medical licenses. So if the doctor goes against the business strategy of these big players, he can end up pretty badly, even more so if he has a big audience.
From a business point of view, it makes perfect sense. Big Pharma makes drugs and bigger the revenue, bigger annual results and happier stockholders which results in higher stock prices and bigger bonuses for managers. From the economic point of view, it all makes sense too, but the problem is that drugs are not supposed to cure, but to make money.
Lately, we can hear that the current medical practice is based on dealing with the results rather than trying to find and avoid the causes. When you visit your doctor, he will probably have only a few minutes for you so he can serve as many patients as possible each day and earn some money to support his family. Everything is quickly solved with a drug prescription instead of lengthy inquiry about your lifestyle. You get your pill, the doctor gets his payment for prescription, Big Pharma has its sales, everybody is happy. The last thing Big Pharma and your doctor want is to lose the patient by actually curing him.
When I studied economy, we have one golden rule. It’s cheaper to keep the existing customer than to get a new one. I’m afraid that this rule applies to medicine as well.
But let’s get back to Dr. Berry, who describes in his book few lies, which are still surviving in the heads of physicians which most of us consider being true professionals with up-to-date knowledge. If you can’t trust your doctor, what about a poor personal trainer who knows far less and doesn’t have a formal education in this field?
Dr. Berry discloses some shocking things. For example, medical students actually have very little education about nutrition and the only thing they have is one semester based on the food pyramid, which means to eat a lot of cereals, whole pasta, fruits and vegetables, a limited amount of meat and to avoid fats, especially saturated fats from animal sources.
The most important message of this book is that you either educate your doctor or you find a new one.
I wholeheartedly recommend this amazing book if you want to learn why cholesterol has nothing to do with coronary heart disease, why you don’t get fat by eating fat, why food pyramid is only a well paid Big Food propaganda, why you can’t lose fat by doing cardio, why it’s healthy to salt your food, why calcium doesn’t cause kidney stones, why cow milk isn’t healthy, why it’s bad to use sunscreens, why you don’t need to eat fiber, why red meat doesn’t cause cancer, why the brain doesn’t run on carbohydrates and much more useful information.