Yesterday I wrote a blog entry about the WSJ Health Blog survey which stated that a third of young doctors didn’t know about the DSHEA and the complete non-regulation of dietary supplements.
Fair enough. A patient looking for information on these supplements might be told otherwise by a well-meaning, but ill informed doctor. In fact, data regarding dietary supplements from placebo controlled trials has been lacking until recently. In other countries (like Germany, which published “The complete German Commission E monographs— therapeutic guide to herbal medicines.” In 1998) there is more data regarding these products. They take these products more seriously. The UK’s “Medicine Control Agency” in 2002 published a list of supplements it was calling “medicinal” and therefore illegal to be sold without regulation. I personally think that’s overkill.
In the U.S., the attitude taken is that these supplements are often not worth testing because:
1)The quality of the products is so variable, since there is no standardization
2)They appeal to a crowd who wouldn’t believe a negative study anyway
But, I have to say I’m seeing a lot more supplement related studies, and guess what? No surprise that all of them appear to be NEGATIVE!
Anyway, none of this has anything to do with what got me so angry. It’s this comment from Christian Goodman:
“Makes one wonder what else doctors are misleading their clients about. That’s one reason why I always say; get a second opinion.”
I see. So because a doctor wasn’t aware of federal regulations regarding products which are essentially placebos, you deduce that doctors are “misleading” patients about other things which are more important. That makes about as much sense as saying an English teacher not knowing about what’s inside a number 2 pencil.
I also object to the word “client”, as if we were lawyers trying to sue a 7-11 for a slippery floor. We see “patients” Christain, NOT “clients”.
Why is there an incessant drumbeat of negativity about doctors and what they don’t know and won’t say? The public has no idea how much new medical information occurs EVERYDAY! Fifty years ago there were like fifty drugs. Now there are HUNDREDS, but Pharmacology is still taught in the same amount of time. Medical school is still only four years.
So forgive us doctors if we weren’t cognizant of the oversight on BOGUS NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTS THAT DON’T DO ANYTHING!! I’ll just stick to learning about medicine that is actually proven to work, thank you.
Anyway, I'm off with the family on vacation for a few days. See you next week. And STAY ANGRY!!!!