The Old Coot wants his Doctorate Degree

This is how I think the medical system should work; a three -legged stool, one leg is the delivery system (doctors, nurses, PA’s, NPA’s, X-ray technicians, pharmacists and the like), trying to help us through a condition or to prevent one. The second leg is the research system (universities, pharmaceutical labs, specialized hospital centers, scientists and out of the box thinkers), coming up with how the body actually functions down to the microscopic level and developing drugs, mechanisms, diets and surgical interventions to help manage a person through a condition or to avoid one. 

The third leg, or the missing one, is us, the patient. We have valuable input that never makes its way into the system. If the delivery system (doctors) asked their patients what they have done or are doing to cope with a chronic aliment, they just might uncover a valid coping mechanism that could be passed on. 

For example, if they asked, “How are you managing the arthritis pain and swelling in your fingers? Have you found a way to reduce or eliminate it?” They might stumble onto a new technique. “I cup my hands under a hot water faucet and work my fingers around for a full minute or two. The pain level goes down and flexibility improves.” 

That sort of intelligence might get into the system. 

Patient input could be uploaded into a computer system, gathering “home remedies” from millions of patients for a variety of conditions. Research teams and statisticians could then compile, analyze, evaluate the input, and then pass it back to the delivery system. And also produce PSA’s (public service announcements) for media dissemination. 

Us old coots have a wealth of untapped, out of the box coping strategies, which we share with each other. But we’re the only interested parties, because we know the value of hard earned coping wisdom. A huge wealth of practical medical information is contained within the entire patient base, yet it never enters the delivery system. 

This missing leg is a big loss to society!

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