Startling Facts You Need to Know about Medical Treatment that Might Save your Life!

In the following weeks, I am going to cover some facts about the medical profession and medical treatment that you might not want to hear.  Many of you reading this will object to my opinions and many medical professionals will no doubt take umbrage at my assertions.  Nevertheless, if my truths do not set you free, they might at least keep you healthier.

What are my qualifications for making these claims?  Seventy years or more of dealing with medical professionals.  Personal treatments for broken bones, sprains, cuts, lacerations, infections, pneumonia, measles, whooping cough, bursitis, plantar fasciitis, prostate cancer, hernia, a deviated septum, Morton’s neuroma, knee and hip pains.  I have watched and known many relatives and friends who have died either because of the medical profession or because of the false beliefs that afflict so much of the general population regarding medical treatment.  I have a BS in Health Education and a MS in Psychology.  I also have a wife who has been a nurse for over 50 years and who still works in the medical field.

20170308_084015My disclaimer is that this does not make me an expert.  In fact, I would maintain that expertise in medicine is like the five blind men who were trying to describe an elephant.  Each man had a different perspective on what an elephant looked like.  Individually, no one perspective was a very adequate description of an elephant.  It would take a synthesis of all perspectives and even more to truly describe an elephant.  That is the problem with medicine.  Too often, each professional looks at a problem through the narrow lens of their own discipline. The reality of a medical problem can often only be understood by multiple perspectives because of the interaction of the systems that make up the human body.  This defining perspective of the problem seldom occurs both because of the nature of medical practice and many times because of the egotism of the so-called medical experts we consult.

A few years ago, my wife’s elderly 85-year-old father Ray went into the hospital with a kidney problem.  We knew he had a heart problem, so we were very concerned.  In the hospital, it seems that further complications arose.  He was being treated by several different specialists.  Over the course of the days that he was in, I had the feeling that none of them were talking to each other.

One day both Karen and I went to visit Ray and he seemed very alert and like his old self.  Karen asked him how he felt and he shocked us with the reply that “he was going to die today.”  Since Ray had been somewhat of a hypochondriac, we were wont to dismiss this assertion but we decided to talk to the doctor in charge at the time.  We asked him how Ray was doing.  He replied “Just fine, he will be discharged today.”  Thus, we were both relieved and Karen and I went off to work feeling comfortable that her father was A-OK.

Shortly after noon, I received a call from Karen.  She was crying and wanted me to meet her at the hospital as soon as possible.  She informed me that her father had died sometime after we had left that morning.  I was incredulous.  How could this be?  The lead doctor had said he was going to be discharged this very day.  It was not the first of my many lessons with the medical profession, but it was one of the saddest.  Karen could have been there with her dad, if we had both believed him instead of the MD.  This does not mean that the doctors do not care about you, just that they are too busy to know who you really are or what your problems really are.  They are too busy treating symptoms to give a damn about you as a person.


In the next few weeks, I am going to cover several perspectives about medicine and medical care.  I will discuss one a week for the next ten weeks.  My perspectives will each be explained in more depth and I will provide some “solutions” for dealing with the problems that arise from these perspectives.  I want to warn you.  If you love your doctor and you truly think that the medical profession are heroes and next to gods, you should not read what I am going to write.  You will not like what I must say.  I am not a “true believer” and this is not a selection to applaud the medical establishment.  There are enough people out there already doing that.

My ten perspectives are:

  1. The AMA and its attendant professionals do not give a damn about you as a person
  2. Homeopathic medicine is a placebo
  3. Chiropractic medicine is an art and not a science
  4. Much pain is caused by laziness and ignorance and not aging
  5. Pharmaceuticals can kill you
  6. Setting exercise goals is a recipe for disaster
  7. Most diet programs ignore basic common sense
  8. Yoga and physical therapy may help but they may make things worse
  9. You need an independent advocate  AND you must be your own advocate
  10. Good health is a journey and not a destination

Time for Questions:

Do you have a favorite doctor?  Why do you like him or her?  How have you been served by the medical profession?  What are the high points?  What are the low points?  What do you think we need to do about the high cost of medical treatment?  Who do you go to first when you need medical help or advice?  Why?

Life is just beginning.

“We look for medicine to be an orderly field of knowledge and procedure. But it is not. It is an imperfect science, an enterprise of constantly changing knowledge, uncertain information, fallible individuals, and at the same time lives on the line. There is science in what we do, yes, but also habit, intuition, and sometimes plain old guessing. The gap between what we know and what we aim for persists. And this gap complicates everything we do.”  ― Atul Gawande, Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. jeanine
    Mar 14, 2017 @ 10:42:54

    I am going with the last question first. I go to WEBMD when I need a self diagnosis. I do have a favorite doctor and one of the reasons is the fact that he has told me that he doesn’t know everything. An admission I seldom hear from other medical doctors. 🙂 When they say that they are practicing medicine, it speaks for itself. I believe that doctors are too quick to prescribe the latest pharmaceutical on the market without the slightest care of how this drug will effect their patient. They put a patch on the problem in the form of a pill and off you go. The high points would outweigh the low points and thank heavens doctors have a very long internship, but they could practice for a lifetime and never come near to perfect. It is not an exact science for sure. I do want to see affordable health care for everyone. Nobody in the U.S should be going without the necessary treatment or surgery they require because they cannot afford health care. I wish I had the answer as to how we can lower the high cost of medical treatment. I would need the answer to why it got so high in the first place.



  2. johnpersico
    Mar 14, 2017 @ 12:41:56

    You raise some good questions Jeanine as to why and what we can do about Health Care. Let me know if you find any good answers. I have not seen a good solution yet. The only thing I know is that we can always spend billions on new weapon systems for the military but for citizen healthcare, it is a battle to get anyone to part with funds.



  3. LaRayne Kuehl
    Mar 16, 2017 @ 10:11:07

    I’m a face from your past — worked at the MRDC with you at the U of M back in the late 70s. (Dr. Pucel, Mary Gupta, Steve Scholl) I happened upon your blog and have enjoyed your words of wisdom. I’m interested in your views on medical treatments that you will be posting in the future. I’m scheduling a total hip replacement today. Hope you are doing well in your retirement. P.S. If you have no idea who I am, I apologize. I was very shy.



    • johnpersico
      Mar 17, 2017 @ 10:56:42

      Hi LaRayne,

      I cannot put a face to your name but I remember your name. I wish you were going to do the surgery in a month or so. Perhaps, what I am going to say next week might have some positive impact on your decision. At this point, I can only hope that the surgery goes well and that you have a good recovery. Are you on FB? If so, please send me a Friend request. Good luck and best wishes. John



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