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The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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Monday, March 1, 2010

Medical Practitioners Go Green

I’ve had someone close to me quite recently tell me,” you need to open up your eyes and see outside of the box about things.” Who would think doing something as trivial and self-serving as shopping for makeup, would result in my learning something valuable and significant about science and the practice of medicine.

As a college student I’m pretty big on trying to bargain shop, so naturally I’ve signed up for those online promotion reminders with the various stores I like to shop at. This week I got a reminder from the online store for the company I like to buy skin care products from: Origins.

While checking out the newest promotion, I noticed in the top corner of the page the origin’s slogan” Powered by Nature. Proven by Science.” While considering this I wondered: How scientific could a skin care line really be? I was answered a split second later when my eyes fell upon the words underneath the company slogan, “Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins” so I decided to ditch the shopping and research the products I was putting onto my body, and clicked the tab regarding this doctor.

The link led me to a description of Dr. Weil whom started the non-profit foundation specializing in integrative medicine, the funds to which enable the research and tools necessary to create Origin products. Weil’s Foundation simultaneously contributes to the “training, education, and research” of integrative medicine.

Now you might be wondering some of the same questions I was when I read this synopsis such as: What is integrative medicine? And is integrative medicine actually a credible and legitimate medical profession, so I went to to find out.

Integrative medicine practitioner are a lot like chiropractors, they work with the body’s own parts in order to bring relief to the patient’s mind and body without prescribing synthetic medicine.

The Weil Foundation described integrative medicine as exploring the human body’s natural healing abilities viewing patients as, “mental-emotional beings, spiritual entities, and community members” in addition to viewing them as bodies. Integrative medicine considers all parts of a person’s life and the way one lives, when evaluating an illness.

What I found interesting about this alternative form of medicine is that it was able to stake the claim that it was the most healthy alternative to regular pharmaceutical remedies, stating that “Practitioners of integrative medicine use less invasive, less expensive, and more natural treatments whenever possible, but they neither reject conventional therapies nor accept alternative ones uncritically. Instead, they are taught that good medicine is based in good science, that it is inquiry-driven and open to new paradigms.”

I found this mission statement extremely refreshing in a generation where many doctors care more for the paycheck writing multiple prescriptions for a patient will illicit than actually taking the time to diagnose a patient properly. For those not savvy to the recent epidemic of doctor’s prescribing for self gain please reference Michael Jackson and Brittany Murphy’s deaths.

Today, practitioners would rather put a band-aid over a patient’s malady with synthetic and sometimes harmful prescriptions, due to the incentive of receiving a portion of every prescription they write. Not only are doctors failing to find proper remedies for illnesses, but they are failing to diagnose a problem by considering ALL possibilities as well, and this isn’t a claim I make lightly.

Not only have I done a lot of research in the past regarding the everyday occurrence of malpractice, but it is something I have been a victim too first hand. I have had multiple doctors prescribe medication with hormones in them, that someone who has a family history of breast cancer, like myself, should not take, let alone ever be prescribed for by professional. Not everyone knows the right questions to ask and like most people I had expected my doctor’s to address issues I may not be aware of. Had these doctor’s done their jobs and actually read my file before examining me, instead of just making me fill out paperwork with very essential information to my health and well being for the sake of seeing me scribble, I wouldn’t have had the nasty surprise of finding out that the medication I had been prescribed for the last several years adumbrates my already high chances for getting cancer. Educated guesses are not what I call a practice of good medicine, this new form of medicine and it’s attention to detail is what I call a practice of good medicine.

The foundation’s ultimate aim is to reform medicinal education, working to have current medical residencies incorporate training and education for integrative medicine.

The final point I am going to make about what I found attractive regarding The Weil Foundation is that it both facilitates research and practice of integrative medicine. The growing practice of integrative medicine is contributing to the expansion of how Doctor’s study medicine, and what remedies they choose to prescribe, to restore the intimate and reliable doctor-patient relationship back to what it should be.

For more information on integrative medicine and The Weil Foundation visit:

Written By: Christina Lo Duca


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