I am at a conference. It is day four. It is very interesting but it is also a mix of science, pseudoscience, fringe science and then a lot of encouragement to sell patients "neutraceuticals" and "medical food" out of my office. The last bit majorly pisses me off.
The last speaker yesterday did a talk titled "Exploring and Facilitating Challenges in the Journey of Change". Yes, it's that sort of conference. The physician said disingenuously that at first they "lost a lot of money" on the neutraceuticals "because we are health care providers. We don't care about money. We GAVE our patients the neutraceuticals and we TRUSTED them to pay." Uh, right. Shee-it. I left. That was enough of that.
It is an expensive conference. They said it was expensive because it is NOT supported by (evil) pharmaceutical companies. However, it's at a stupidly luxurious conference center, and it is very thoroughly supported by multiple neutraceutical companies, special labs and "medical food" companies. They have nice hour long breaks with snacks in the propaganda room to lure us in.
I am staying with a Great Uncle, who is very conservative, instead of at the stupidly luxurious place. I did manage to get into the pool yesterday, have avoided paying for parking, and went for a hike in the desert during lunch yesterday. I asked the conference staff table people why we are at a stupidly expensive place and said I found it offensive. They said that they can't get the "right" food, gluten and dairy free, unless they are at a Very Special Place. I think that is a lie. Also, the gluten and dairy free lunch the first day had wheat berries. I kind of thought they contain gluten. There are containers labelled cucumber-blackberry water in the propaganda room, with cucumbers and blueberries floating in them.
Anyhow, some of the science is good and I think some of it will make sense to patients. They are talking about spending time with patients and actually listening to them, which I thought was what we were supposed to do as allopathic doctors. My recent medical trip has revealed to me that almost none of the doctors I saw actually did listen. Two did. I am rare in that I want to hear the story.
The conference cheerleader folks keep telling us that we are the few, the special, the cutting edge, who will actually help patients. I think the best thing I can do is listen to patients and in my area, recommend that they plant and eat kale. And avoid pills, as few pills as possible, whether pharmaceutical or neutraceutical or natural or bloody unnatural as hell... I ain't seen no pill growing on a tree yet.
This conference seriously makes me want to quit medicine.