I take your point, but I agree only to a point. Physicians are only one part of an American healthcare system/industry that is part of an economy based on profit. I am one of those physicians who hands out Prozac, Valium and Ritalin, but I am also constrained. For example, even when I believe that talk therapies and other alternatives may be better, the fact is that the insurance industry doesn't want to pay for those.

Lest I sound like I'm in this for the money, I do find some justification for what I earn based on a very expensive education and several years of very limited income.

Many physicians are unaware of how much they are influenced by Big Pharma which pays for much of the research, owns it, and publishes only those things that support the sale of their medications.

And our society demands instant gratification. Many patients don't want to do the work that will help them get better. They frequently demand an MRI for every twisted ankle and see it as malpractice if we suggest "observation" for a few days. It is almost hopeless frustrating to explain to patients why they don't need the treatments or studies they demand, and if that ankle was in fact broken, they will sue for the delay in discovery.

Physicians do need to make some changes, no doubt about that. But it won't happen without some changes in our cultural expectations of healthcare.

Written by

Gay father; Psychiatrist; Award-winning author FINALLY OUT. Chapter excerpt here: http://bit.ly/2EyhXTY Top writer on Medium. Not medical advice.

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