Arizona, where I live, is a standard-of-care state–as are many others, although that’s kind of a secret that you have to discover on your own.
Let me describe in a nutshell what this means: Patients get one-size-fits-all treatment, whether it works or not.
Big Pharma and Big Insurance muscle their way onto State Medical Boards. Once there, they use that significant power to shut down real medicine. If healing happens, it’s an accident.
The Board sets standards for each medical condition, which sounds hopeful. However, the standards are intended to minimize costs and guarantee legal protection to doctors no matter what happens to patients.
For instance, the standard of care for thyroid is the TSH test, ignoring the fact this test is perhaps the premier example of unreliability. The standard treatment mandates Synthroid or a generic equivalent. Synthroid doesn’t work for the vast majority of us. That’s bad enough, but it causes an allergic reaction in lots of folks.
So the TSH test is bogus, the only medicine allowed doesn’t help and may harm, your hair continues to fall out, your brain remains in a pea-soup fog and life loses all its joy. But the standard of care has been met.
And standard-of-care State Medical Boards don’t approve of the adrenal saliva test, although it’s accurate while their preferred bloods tests are pointless. So adrenal problems remain unaddressed and untreated, wreaking all sorts of health havoc. If your adrenals are suffering, so are you–in spades.
And it’s not just about thyroid (et al) problems. State Boards decree normal cholesterol levels to be too high and insist doctors prescribe statin drugs to lower them–although cholesterol has nothing to do with heart disease and statins are a disaster, with serious side effect upon serious side effect. And for nothing. Research says statins save less than one life per twenty years of patient suffering and expense.
And on and on. Standard-of-care means inferior care.
And your doctor can’t do anything outside the very limited bounds of standard-of-care without risking his/her medical license. A doctor I admire said she fears the State Medical Board above everything.
Want more? If you refuse to do as you’re told, the doctor’s supposed to dismiss you as a patient.
Arizona has a doctor shortage, at least in part because doctors are leaving. They want to practice medicine in a state that still allows them to use their knowledge and skills to treat patients.
Because of the Arizona State Medical Board, I’ve lost some doctors, and I’ve made others crazy by my unwillingness to ride with the tide. I recognize the doctor’s dilemma, but golly gee whiz, I’m not about to live half a life.
Fortunately, my years of study give me a huge edge in self-care. So I try to break doctors in with the idea of being a coach. I’ll study, I’ll experiment on myself and I’ll tell them all about it–if, and I have to be really diplomatic about this part–they’ll cough up a prescription for natural, desiccated thyroid as needed.
This asks a lot of the doctor. Although desiccated thyroid has proved its worth again and again–for more than a century now–standard-of-care disapproves of it. Strongly. Why? As usual, it’s a follow-the-money thing.
So, if your doctor shows little flexibility or initiative, it may be that he’s dying inside, but he has a family and many thousands of dollars in student loans, so he can’t risk his license. Military doctors lose everything by prescribing a decent thyroid medication.
So this is where we are. And, no, we’re not having fun yet. But if enough people make enough noise, we can get things changed. But we’ll have to make a whole lot of noise. A little chirp here and there won’t get the job done.