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Ask Dr. Gott 11/09

Are doctors quacks?

DEAR DR. GOTT: You doctors are brainwashed by the drug companies. All you ever do is prescribe medications, which only suppress symptoms, not cure disease. There are cures for diseases if you would tell people to go seek alternative medicine. All major diseases can be absolutely cured by homeopathic remedies. Drugs kill people every day; they make people sick. The more drugs you take, the sicker you become. Drugs are all garbage. Go study alternative remedies. You will be surprised what you might learn. People need to become aware of alternative medicine and the health care industry. Drugs are the sick care industry. Your column is a joke.
    DEAR READER: Maybe. But I'm not as hilarious as homeopathy. That medical "discipline" is so funny that patients are dying from it!
    Let's take your points one by one.
    1. I don't agree that doctors are "brainwashed by the drug companies." Judging from the TV ads, I would say that the U.S. public is being brainwashed.
    Doctors are not content merely to suppress symptoms. Instead, our training teaches us to establish a diagnosis first. So, if someone has a headache from high blood pressure, it's more appropriate to provide medicine to lower the blood pressure rather than simply treat the headache.
    2. All major diseases cannot be cured by homeopathy. This statement is a glaring untruth. Cancer, diabetes, heart disease and other serious ailments must be approached aggressively, usually with medicine and sometimes with lifestyle changes, to save lives.
    3. Alternative remedies are, for the most part, understudied. Their production is not supervised by responsible government agencies. Some alternative drugs appear to show promise, but, if you are willing to be honest, drugs are drugs. What is the difference between an herbal remedy and a prescription drug? Is it not likely that if "drugs are all garbage," then this false generalization also applies to alternative therapy?
    When I said I'd take your points one by one, I did not realize how unrealistic that position was, so I modified it. I was not surprised that your letter contained no name, address or e-mail. This is exactly what I would expect from an ignorant and insecure alternative therapist.
    When you're willing to have an honest exchange of ideas, let me know — but include your name and address.
    DEAR DR. GOTT: I have written the following poem for you. Please print it if you have room and like it.
        An ode to an Irish Spring
    (Bar of soap, that is)
    Soap under your sheet?
    Prevent leg cramps? — surely not!
    But I tried it, it worked
    Hurray for Dr. Gott!
    I tried several brands
    Ivory, Dove, Dial and Lux
    The cheap ones work fine
    Get more bang for your buck
        A little lump under your legs
    That's a small price to pay
    Though my shins have a permanent imprint
    That says "Camay"
    Milk is good for you
    And their "Got Milk?" slogan is seen a lot
    But for all your health questions
    My advice is "Got Gott?"
    DEAR READER: While I cannot put you in a category with Edna St. Vincent Malay, the poem is cute. Thanks.

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