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|Overdosed America : The Broken Promise
of American Medicine
Overdosed America : The Broken Promise of American Medicine is a fantastic insider's look at the way American medicine is conducted, and despite the claims of many that the US is #1 in healthcare. This book should be required reading for all medical residents and medical students (as well as attendings!) The book chronicles the "journey" by one family practice physician and his common experiences that led him to quit the practice of medicine. Part one is the first 5 chapters that contains the basic premise for the book. Bascially Dr. Abramson tells the all too common experience of the patients who complain of minor back pain and demand an MRI. Or those patients who have seen too many commercials on TV and request the "Purple Pill" when they have a stomachache.
We learn that even the top medical journals are not 100%
reliable and believable. Even in the New England Journal of Medicine
or Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). You always have
to think twice when it comes to reading the asbtracts you come across.
Who would have thought the important cardiovascular risks of Vioxx
and Celebrex would have been brushed aside by the most respected medical
journals in America. And what is MORE surprising is how timely this
book is. In fact it was published BEFORE the VIOXX recall by Merck!
And while the American medical guidelines today focus on medications and labs, "state of the art" procedures, how many of these have really been proven to be superior. Why are the most important aspects of cardiovascular health (Diet and Exercise) mentioned in a small sidelight when compared to the multi-million dollar drugs like Lipitor? And who would realize that Vioxx and Celebrex were never proven to be superior in terms of pain control even compared to plain old ibuprofen? Given all the advertising money, we'd have assumed they were wonder drugs!
More alarming are some of the other well adhered
to guidelines regarding osteoporosis and the treatment of this "bone
disease." How can guidelines be set to be such that by definition
a % of otherwise healthy women have a bone disease? How can you compare
the bones of healthy older people to those of young women in their
prime, then label a large portion of the women as having "bone disease?"
And by the way, some studies actually showed an increase in fracture
rate on medications like Fosamax!