by Rose Rohloff
An India folklore, regarding lack of awareness, demonstrates the current myopic view of various specialists, who look at isolated symptoms without comprehensive assessments, resulting in poor or lack of diagnosing of real issues to address in patients. The industry push to eliminate primary care, teaching people they don’t need a primary doctor, or using primary care doctors as simple pass-through without diagnosing, handing off to multiple other doctors, has resulted in the loss of care coordination, overdosing multiple medications with contraindications/side effects, with increased conditions because multiple doctors only look at their individual view.
The following version of the blind men and the elephant story is from Peacecorp.gov, and is analogous to the existing healthcare system of specialists.
Long ago, old blind men were curious about the many stories they heard about elephants. The men were led to one for each person to independently touch the animal.
All body systems impact each other, designed to function as a whole, for a well orchestrated, compensatory mechanism. By only looking at individual symptoms of isolated systems, patient’s underlying conditions are not addressed for health, and can often be fulminated and/or obscured by medications. And, the reason primary care doctors are imperative for knowing the whole patient, knowing how to diagnose and treat many conditions. Primary doctors should only pass their patients to specialists for complicated, complex conditions, while always following their patient and maintaining all coordination with any other doctors.
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