Treating chronic illness early and efficiently

I read this article called “The healthiest town in America” which is really kind of random but it brought up some interesting observations. The author points out that America’s healthcare system is way out of date. It’s set up to react, to deal with things like trauma or deadly diseases, which is not what we need anymore. Doctors these days continue to react to symptoms when the truth is many Americans are dealing with chronic illnesses and by the time they present symptoms its too late, usually the disease is far advanced.

When I read this I practically shouted, “YES!” I think they hit the problem with healthcare spot on. We go into the doctor with symptoms,  perhaps a fever, sore throat, headaches etc. and we leave the doctor with pills to make us better. Very few doctors are capable of handling anything more than that (as I have learned through many miserable personal experiences). So many problems that people have these days can not be fixed by one pill. Patients need a multi-system approach and a doctor who takes the time to listen to the details. There needs to be a shift in our entire healthcare system. The article points out a few ideas about how and what should be done (active vs passive patients for example), but I don’t know that a shift of this magnitude will ever be made.  However, it was encouraging to read about the problems with our healthcare system, since many people deny there even is one.

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