A Look at the Role & Return of General Practitioners In
Medicine and Primary Care Doctors in Family Medicine
The RETURN of GENERAL PRACTITIONERS
in Medicine and as
Primary Care Doctors
in Family Medicine
A Major Problem in need of much attention is the lack of widely trained, and sufficient numbers of, General Practitioners (GP) in Medicine, and Primary Care Doctors in Family Medicine.
The idea is a GP should know enough about a very wide range of healing modalities (all of them, preferably, and ideally, but that might be too idealistic or optimistic), and be trained sufficiently in diagnostics & assessment, to be highly competent in determining what course of action a particular Patient will most likely be successful in pursuing.
And because families have a wide range of conditions and problems, Family Doctors need an even wider range of insight, knowledge, and skills.
Medical Specialization Competing with General Practitioners in Medicine
Unfortunately, medical specialists are often the most highly paid doctors or therapists, and therefore far fewer potential candidates opt to become a GP in favor of the higher earnings of a medical specialty. Yet think about it. A truly effective GP needs to know enough about a full range (not just a wide range) of pathologies & therapies to determine which direction any particular patient should go. …
Again, NOT just a “wide” range, but a FULL range. …
And the various options are many.
WIDE-Ranging & DEEP Education
Before getting to that, GPs need to be highly competent diagnosticians to most effectively evaluate what a Patients’ problems really are in the first place. Meaning they really need to be able to do at least general diagnostics in most if not ALL areas of health & medicine …
The General Practitioner, then, might very well need to be FAR more educated than any specialist is. Maybe not as deep in any one area of health & pathology, or any one specialty, but certainly deep enough in ALL health care diagnostics and modalities to fully evaluate conditions & options and be a true advocate & educator for the health and well-being of each Patient given his or her unique circumstances.
Given that medical specialists are, generally speaking, prone (biased?) toward THEIR modality being THE one the Patient most needs, and that specialties are usually more expensive, it makes sense that such decisions are made wisely PRIOR TO the specialist coming on the scene.
Ideally, a GP is not attached to which specialty is visited and is free to select what one or more specialty is most appropriate. If the GP is truly effective & efficient, the risk of going to the wrong specialist is reduced, therefore reducing overall costs while improving results — not the least of which is the Patient getting better, faster.
Treatment by Opposites
A major problem here is that most GPs are in the allopathic* school of medicine. Allopaths are primarily focused within the currently overarching medical paradigm, which today is still the drug, surgery, radiation, and occasional bedrest school of thought.
The orthodox medical system we have today does not focus on making patients and people fundamentally healthier. They focus on mitigating or managing symptoms and external conditions.
This is a HUGE difference in philosophy, areas of study, diagnostic & evaluative procedures, strategy development, and treatment protocols between allopathic and “whole health,” “natural,” or “alternative” practitioners.
* Allopathy: literally means treatment by opposites. …
This philosophy of medicine gives rise to the “heroic” or interventionist approach to medicine, where the physician comes in to “do battle” with, is in opposition to, the ”invaders” — the germs or pathogens — of the Patient’s body.
While it is true that such “invaders” do exist, in many, if not most cases, such invaders cannot persist for long unless the internal environment of the body has degenerated sufficiently to be hospitable to the invader. Meaning in part that the body can feed the invader sufficiently to keep it alive.
If that sounds like a parasite, that’s exactly what it is. And that’s why so many health & medical practitioners in recent years have been claiming that most, if not all, illnesses in one way or another involve some form of parasite.
For Just One Example:
Years ago, in Greensboro, NC, I worked closely with the late Dr. Gerry Drew. Dr. Drew had been a highly trained, multi-PHD medical researcher & educator. He specialized in neuro-psycho pharmacology at the University of Kentucky, training doctors from all over the country.
After being cured of severe heart disease with chelation therapy, he got interested in so-called “alternative” or metabolic / nutritional medicine. He told me a friend of his, an attorney, asked him to read a book, the Cure For All Cancers by Dr. Hulda R. Clark. The primary focus of the book was parasites in the human body.
Dr. Drew said he was extremely skeptical at first, but he wanted to help his friend out, so he read it. By the time he was done, he said it was more scientifically in line with everything he had learned at all levels of his medical training than anything else he knew about in medicine. That being that parasites were at the root of most metabolic diseases not trackable to some poison being introduced into the body.
Dr. Drew devoted the rest of his life to consulting with people about such things. We were VERY surprised and impressed with the results he got with the Clients we referred to him.
Of course, there is the question of how parasites enter the body in the first place and flourish, which I’ll delve into a bit momentarily.
This parasite approach could indeed become one potential bridge between the allopathic physicians and the so-called “alternative” or “wholistic” physicians & practitioners.
The Inner, Biological Terrain
This degeneration of the internal environment — classically known as the “Terrain” or “Inner Milieu” — is what produces the breeding and feeding ground that perpetuates the lives of these parasites. The Inner Terrain is very frequently the result of various forms of stress, nutritional deficiencies, metabolic insufficiencies, toxic exposures, exhaustion, or inadequate detoxification & elimination of wastes from the body. This is sometimes known as the realm of Biologic — or Metabolic — Medicine.
Therefore, it might be said the First Challenge of a True Healer is to restore the internal environment of the body to normal (not “typical”) so “invaders” cannot survive. Better yet, prevent them from ever getting an opportunity to take up residence in the first place.
In modern “alternative” medicine, the idea of Functional Medicine has taken a stronghold. One major factor that even the most hard-core allopaths cannot ignore is the vast medical research proving the necessity of keeping the Microbiome, the finely balanced environment of the entire digestive tract, especially the large & small intestines. The microbiome is only a small part of “wholistic” medicine, but a very important one.
This divergence of the philosophical & scientific basis of medicine — the Germ Theory versus the Host Theory — was well described in the book Pasteur y Bechamp, a book about the controversy describing how Louis Pasteur derived the Germ Theory of Medicine (“borrowing” it from three of his students) compared to Antoine Bechamp (a more serious laboratory scientist) and the champion of the Host Theory of Medicine. In the book’s narrative, Pasteur won the day not because of superior science, but because he was a better promoter and more forceful orator than Bechamp.
It is summed up in the phrase:
“The microbe [germ] is nothing, the terrain [inner terrain] is everything.”
(We are reminded of the long-ago debates between Albert Einstein and Neils Bohr. Einstein was not a very good, forceful, or boisterous debater or promoter. Bohr was all of those and very good at it. In the short run, Bohr “won” their arguments about the Nature of Reality & Quantum Matter. In the long run, however, much of what Einstein had posited turned out to be correct. Not all of it, but much of it.)
It is also true that the germ theory provided a facade of science for the emerging paradigm of allopathic, drug-based medicines, purveyors of which were searching for a scientific basis for their approach to medicine. Their superior financing (mostly from Big Oil in the early days) contributed to the victory of ”invading germs” over ”inner terrain.”
This is NOT to say there are NO germs. … Only that germs are everywhere, all the time, and the controlling factor has more to do with any particular individual’s internal resistance or susceptibility, which has much to do with their “internal environment” and overall health of the patient.
Ideally, a GP would be trained in a wide range of other modalities than just allopathic medicine. They would have a working knowledge of naturopathy & homeopathy, nutrition & orthomolecular medicine, osteopathy & chiropractic, neuromuscular & myofascial therapies, and exercise & stretching. …
At Very Least.
Treatment by Similars
Regarding the word “Homeopathic” …
This is a HIGHLY charged word as you have large populations of people around the world, including in very high places, who swear BY it. Then there is another large population who swear AT it, declaring it to be a completely fraudulent approach to health & medicine.
The word homeopathy — coined by Samuel Hahnemann, the Father of Homeopathy — means Treatment By Similars or Like Cures Like.
Contrast that to allopathy, treatment by opposites. That very starting point has the two in direct opposition to each other. UNLESS some cooperative ground of being can be found, where the two “opposing” forces can find areas where the extremes work together and complement each other, rather than antagonize.
I will not here attempt to compare or argue the scientific research presented by both sides. (Of course, each side accuses the other side of being highly UN-scientific!) There are others FAR more conversant on both sides of the issue than I am.
Dana Ullman, M.P.H., C.C.H. (Masters in Public Health, U.C. Berkeley) (CCH = certified in classical homeopathy) is “homeopathic.com” and is widely recognized as the foremost spokesperson for homeopathic medicine in the U.S.
Dana Ullman https://homeopathic.com
I bring this up not to advocate for the modern notions of homeopathic remedies per se. I bring it up because the word itself is so useful. Most people associate homeopathy with the “little white pills” — the Remedies — said to contain almost nothing of the original substance they’re derived from. They are diluted down so far as to be undetectable. We’ll leave the discussion of that for another place & time.
What I’m interested in here is the larger concept, the idea of treatments being similar to the disease or the body of the person that has the disease. It is a more non-invasive, low-toxicity approach to medicine.
As well, one of the features of homeopathic medicine is the idea of Removal Of Obstacles To Cure.
That means BEFORE the remedy (the little white pills) is offered, it is recommended the Patient first remove the various things they’re doing that contribute to his or her illness or condition. So if you’re chronically tired, is it because you’re not sleeping enough? If you’ve got skin conditions, is it due to the diet you’re eating? If your eliminations are not adequate, are you consuming enough fiber? And on and on it goes.
HMMM? … I wonder how much of homeopathy works because of all that rather than the “little white pills”?
How I interpret the idea of ”opposites versus similars” is, for example, if you have back pain, cutting into your back with a knife is an oppositional event. The knife is very “dissimilar” to the tissues of your body, and its function is interventive & combative, not “warm and fuzzy.” It’s NOT something you’d invite on a regular basis, if ever.
But if a massage therapist slowly and gently begins applying pressure with their hands to the muscles causing the pain, and they start to relax, there is a “similarity” between the nurturing hands of the therapist and the soft tissues of the body. (It is true, some massage therapists dig in deep, very intrusively, sometimes too much so.)
We could say they are delivering their massage technique in an allopathic, or oppositional way, rather than in a comforting, supportive fashion. Especially when they start talking about “breaking up” (alleged) “adhesions” or “scar tissue.” Especially when they tell their client that experiencing pain in therapy is “normal” & “necessary.”
I’m considering encouraging a movement to use the term homeopathic (rather than focus on the “little white pills”) in its broader sense to describe the forms of medicine that are more nurturing of health, rather than toxic or invasive.
With the THIRD leading cause of death in America being PROPERLY prescribed medical drugs, it’s hard to think of them as not foreign to the body.
Yet eating good, healthy food is (usually) instantly recognized by the body — and usually the mind — as something to invite and enjoy. Although it is true that in many cases, the healthiest foods do NOT taste very good to people whose taste buds have been conditioned by years or decades of foods that are not healthy.
What we’re talking about are health and medical procedures that are more natural to the human body, mind & emotions. And from there comes the word Naturopathy. Together, the words Naturopathy & Homeopathy cover a vast range of the underlying fundamentals of healthcare modalities and medical processes.
The ideal General Practitioner would be deeply conversant in a wide range of Allopathic, Homeopathic & Naturopathic remedies and methods. They would fully understand both the Germ Theory of Medicine AND the Host or Terrain Theory of Medicine.
Mindfulness In Medicine:
Meditation As Cure
And because the very word “medicine” comes from the Latin root word “mederi,” meaning to measure, to mediate, to moderate, to meditate, and to cure, then I would say MINDFULNESS must play a significant part in all the elements of the General Practitioner.
Because it is with an Inner Measure, a Mindfulness of one’s own inner processes that we can observe, moderate & mediate our Obstacles To Cure,
GPs do not have to be able to competently perform all the various modalities of allopathic / homeopathic / naturopathic medicine, only competently understand how they all work, how they fit into the Big Picture, and what are the indications any particular modality is more rather than less relevant to a particular, unique patients’ current conditions.
If the solutions are “general” enough for the General Practitioner to work with then they can manage the Patient themselves.
If the problem truly requires a specialist, then so be it.
So, how do we get more competent and wide-ranging general practitioners in medicine and primary care doctors in family medicine?
Gaining More General Practitioners In Medicine, and More Well Rounded Primary Care Doctors for Family Medicine
Because of the near systemic and historical bias against the “natural” or “alternative” forms of medicine within the allopathic community, it is my opinion that at this time, the Naturopathic School of Medicine is more likely to be able and competent to serve as the true source of producing the truly competent & useful General Practitioner of Whole Health Care.
Naturopaths might not have deep competency in certain of the narrow specialties of allopathic care such as specific surgeries. They might not know everything there is to know about urology, cardiovascular health, or whatever from the perspective of drugs and surgery.
Yet that is not necessary for the true GP. They need to be able to distinguish between, for example, a need for reduction of the neuro-musculo-fascial tensions & stresses causing pain in the region of a hip joint … versus having a total or partial hip replacement surgery.
They don’t need to BE the medical massage therapist or bodyworker who actually works on the muscles. They don’t need to be the surgeon who replaces a broken hip joint or femur (thigh bone. But they need to know which Patients need to go to what practitioner, and how to work in sufficient collaboration with those practitioners.
The GP — or any physician for that matter — who does not know, understand and appreciate the immense value of and deep healing available from hands-on massage & bodywork can never effectively use them to their full potential. This wastes the skills of the practitioner and deprives the Patient of what they most need.
Yet too many surgeons do hip replacements when manual relaxation of the local musculo-fascial units would have achieved the desired results with far better outcomes and far less TRUE costs.
(See my Case Study on avoiding a second hip replacement on the same hip.)
While it is true that the out-of-pocket expense for a patient getting surgery might actually be less than if they paid for a couple of dozen soft-tissue, manual therapy sessions, someone, somewhere, has to put a stop to the trend of doing what a patient’s insurance can or will afford versus what they actually need.
The Financialization of Medicine & Healthcare continues to degenerate the patient / doctor relationship and erode the quality of care. When economics determines health care, rather than the other way around, the focus goes on profitability at the expense of the quality of care and results.
Third-party payment and “insurance” have fully distorted the delivery of health care. In great part because it is NOT really “insurance,” but really a pre-paid healthcare plan. It is usually burdened with politicized federal or state regulations. Everything is geared toward cutting corners to increase profitability and the first thing that declines is the quality of care the patient receives.
A High Potential Remedy for the Problems of Healthcare is …
The Free Market Medical Revolution
FREE MARKET MEDICAL ASSOCIATION
THE FMMA PROMOTES TRANSPARENCY IN HEALTHCARE
100 Plus Years Of A Medical Monopoly
The vast monopolistic influences on, and financialization of, medicine began before the start of the 20th Century when the Rockefeller Oil “interests” discovered they could refine oil into “medicines.”
Their takeover and control of medicine and politics have distorted to extremes the price function of real free markets. Their backing of federal & state regulations of medicine compounded the problems and erosion of REAL human healthcare.
To “protect” their crony-corporate market position, they put most other medical and health systems Out of Business for many decades.
Compared to developing TRUE Free Market Trends, prices for allopathic medicine are so far into the stratosphere they defy all logic & reason.
This means rethinking financing ALL of healthcare, understanding why it is so excessively expensive in the first place, and finding new solutions. OR, more likely, returning to the Original American Paradigm including TRUE Free Market Principles under Common Law.
It is the perspective of this paper that if TRUE free enterprise and free markets were allowed to work, such issues would be resolved VERY quickly. This is evidenced by the successes of clinics and hospitals like the Surgery Center of Oklahoma in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Please see the above-linked article from
Mises Institute, The Free Market Revolution.
The supposed excesses of “unfettered capitalism” and “free markets” (which barely exist in any aspect of medicine and health care) would be reigned in and reduced dramatically and rapidly by way of Common Law, the Law common among The People.
However, the current artificial, monopoly-driven, crony-corporate medical system is so dominated by ANTI-free market forces institutionalized by state & federal governments it will, admittedly, not be an easy transition.
Yet this transition MUST occur before the entire system is bankrupted, not to mention the tens of thousands of people who received the wrong care or treatment because of the economic and political biases in the current system. While most of those solutions are more likely to be found in the restoration of a TRUE free market, that is a topic for another time.
And though outside the scope of this paper, anyone familiar with the current numbers and trends knows the current medical system is heading toward not just bankruptcy, but a total meltdown.
The Bottom Line is when Medicine & Healthcare get back into the Hands Of The People, when it is DE-Centralized, and Power is DE-Consolidated, quality of care will go UP, safety will go UP, availability to more people will go UP, and prices will go DOWN.
And when General Practitioners are widely & sufficiently trained in ALL aspects, forms & modalities of a full range of medicine, EVERYONE will be FAR better off!
Thank You for reading our discussion of general practitioners in medicine, primary care doctors, and family medicine in America, and how homeopathic / naturopathic medicine might well fit in with the orthodox allopathic model of medicine.
And of course, restoring the Original American Paradigm of American Society with Limited / Minimal Government. In economics AND healthcare, Internal Self-Regulation is far superior to external State regulation.
Thaks Again & Take Care,
David Scott Lynn (DSL*)
* DSL: Your High Touch Uplink to the Inner-Net*
* Inner-Net: Your Psycho-Neuro-Musculo-Fascial Network