I owe you an apology. And not just you. I owe the whole country an apology. By being a part of our current healthcare system, I have been an implicit part of the demise of our country’s health.
Our healthcare policies and practices have failed us, and they continue to fail us. They have helped create two generations of overweight and obese individuals. They have allowed rampant increases in the number of people suffering with diabetes and insulin resistance, crippled by dementia, struggling with depression and autoimmune conditions, and the myriad of complications that come from our chronic diseases.
I am guilty too. I have been working within this system and did not stop it. Sure, I can argue that I tried my best to ignore the misguided guidelines and policies, and I did what I felt was best for my patients. But I did not revolt. I did not demand that the system change. That makes me guilty.
It boggles my mind that this situation came to be. It is almost as if all healthcare providers thought, “There is no way we can be responsible. Someone would have noticed and fixed it. We wouldn’t let a broken system continue to make us sicker and sicker. Not when our goal is health.”
It’s hard to imagine any other system where this could happen.
Picture this. You are hired to help a company improve the health of their business by increasing sales and improving the quality of their product. At least that is what your job description says. Your first day on the job, you sit in training all day to learn company policies and guidelines for marketing and product design.
After six months on the job, the company is in trouble. The product keeps falling apart, returns and complaints are at an all-time high, and the marketing is failing to increase demand. Yet, despite this, everyone is congratulated for sticking to the company policy and abiding by the guidelines. In fact, everyone gets a small mid-year bonus for doing such a great job.
Sounds ridiculous, right?
Yet, within the world of healthcare, we could argue that is exactly what is happening. Starting from governmental dietary guidelines, which the AHA and ADA faithfully echo, and continuing with our culture of using a pill for every problem, our healthcare industry has failed. At best it has failed to fix the obvious problems that faces us. At worst it has caused them.
And I have been a part of it. For that I am sorry.
But there is good news on the horizon. Alternative approaches to healthcare continue to increase. Whether it’s from health coaches, naturopaths, functional medicine doctors, or open minded and forward-thinking MDs, we now have options.
The best options offer a hybrid approach that combines the knowledge of medications and acute care medicine, balanced with the desire to promote real health. It is through this framework where we can see the tide starting to change. And once that tide becomes a big enough wave, the mainstream healthcare system will have no choice but to take notice and reform. Then, and only then, can we hope to reverse the path we are on.
Then, and only then, can I be proud to be part of a healthcare system that truly helps people live happier and healthier lives.
Do you have experiences where the healthcare industry has failed you? Share your story in the comments below and let us know how we can help you.
I want to fix this problem and help you find the quality of health that our “health”care industry cannot. Whether it is signing up for a one-on-one consult with me, listening to The Low Carb Cardiologist Podcast, reading my book Your Best Health Ever, or any other way I can help you understand the true essence of health and how to achieve it, please let me know.
Thanks for reading.
Bret Scher, MD FACC
Founder, Boundless Health