Sunday, December 6, 2009

Speaking to Conventional Medicine

A few months ago, I was invited to give a talk at the hospital that trained me.  The chief of cardiology (Dr. David) asked me to give a talk on the holistic approach to the hyperlipidemic patient (or the high- cholesterol patient).  Dr. David has been a friend and colleague for many years.  He took excellent care of my father and to this day I rerfer him many patients.  When he asked me to speak to the internal medicine/cardiology students, fellows and faculty, I told him I did not think it would be a good idea.  Dr. David felt that since his group was seeing many patients who were using alternative modalities it was important to educate everyone about the different approaches that are available.

As he was asking me to do this talk, my stomach started churning (a little).  I have lectured to conventional doctors before and it is generally not a pleasant experience.  I agreed to do this talk due to my relationship with Dr. David. I gave this talk two days ago. 

I would say that after five minutes into my talk, I could feel the tension building.  I was glad they did not have metal silverware as that would hurt more than plastic silverware.  By the way, the luncheon was sponsored by a pharmaceutical rep. 

By the end of my one hour talk, many in the audience were visibly and audibly agitated.  One prominent doctor claimed that I was misleading the students and the fellows in my interpretation of the data (at least that is how I took his arguments).  He claimed that the benefits for statin drugs (at best is 1% lowered risk of non-fatal heart attack over 3 years) will be borne out over time.  He claimed that in 10 years, this benefit will be 3-10%  better and in 20 years it may be higher yet.

I asked him how could he make that claim? That is simply conjecture.  I could just as easily make the claim that the long-term poisoning of an important enzyme (which statins do) will eventually result in more adverse effects and death (which is my educated guess).  Furthermore, I believe the research is clear; statin drugs are largely a failure and a waste of money.  They have never been shown to prolong anyone’s life.  More information about statins and other drug therapies can be found in my book, Drugs That Don’t Work and Natural Therapies That Do, 2nd Edition.   

I hope this talk at least opened some ears and eyes for the doctors and students and inspired them to look at these research studies with a more critical eye.  I also hope I convinced them to look more closely at how these drugs are interacting with the biochemical pathways in the body.  Finally, I hope I provided them with information about how to use safe and effective natural therapies to treat cardiovascular problems. 


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