Here’s something a little different for today, courtesy of my lady pal Tami (who shared it yesterday on her Facebook wall).
It’s a website called Dollars for Docs.
Premise: Dollars for Docs is a search tool. It allows you to see how much $$ your doctor received from pharmaceutical and medical device companies during the period from August 2013 – December 2014.
As an aside: I have no problem with anyone receiving money from anyone. But knowledge is power.
Why I’m Sharing
This isn’t a fitness resource, per se. But as a right-wing hippie and arm-chair conspiracy theorist, I’m feeling obliged to relate this to current issues with our health care system and general fitness.
A few (un)pleasant reminders:
- Our fundamental assumptions about health and nutrition affect our habits (and those of future generations)
- Our habits affect our fitness and health
- Our culture and health care system affect our fundamental assumptions
- Our culture and health care system are driven by forces other than a pure desire for good health
I’m not saying: your doctor is corrupt.
I am saying: that many doctors are driven by all the wrong incentives. Which isn’t necessarily their fault – because the whole system is driven by some bad incentives. (Incidentally – here is proof that bribing doctors works.)
I don’t know about you, but I take the things my doctor tells me with a grain of salt. It’s not that I don’t respect their medical degree – it’s more that:
- I’m not 100% confident that their medical degree represents the most up to date knowledge
- I’m not 100% confident that their biases (conscious and unconscious) don’t interfere with their choices and recommendations
- I’m not 100% confident that seeing me for 5 minutes gives them as much insight as my personal intuitions do
When it comes to surgery – I’ll take the doctor’s recommendation over my own.
But in a time when many doctors:
- are out of shape themselves;
- don’t sleep enough; AND
- are a little too quick with the prescription pad
..I’ll be damned if I’ll take their general lifestyle advice without a healthy dose of skepticism.
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