Two stories of doctors, one about getting it right, the other about getting press.

First the good news, doctors in the UK have been told to stop giving out antibiotics like they’re candy because there are Don't pop thesemore and more antibiotic resistant bugs out there now due to overuse. 

Doctors are to be told to stop prescribing antibiotics for coughs, colds and sore throats because over-use of the drugs is fuelling the spread of killer hospital superbugs.

You would think with all the schooling needed to become a doctor that they would learn antibiotics are useless on viruses, but many times doctors prescribe them because it makes the patient feel better in a placebo way.  They’re going to get over their cold anyway, they take a drug and it makes them think they got over it because of the drug and they go back for more next time they catch a cold.  Repeat the cycle.

Only problem is that antibiotics not only kill most bacteria infecting your body, they also harm your immune system temporarily.

“The past 60 years have seen great advances in health care and medicine. For example, the use of antibiotics has saved countless lives, but antibiotics do not work on most coughs, colds and sore throats and their unnecessary use can leave the body susceptible to gut infections…”

Unlike the UK, where they have a loser pays tort system, doctors in the US have another reason to over prescribe antibiotics; lawsuits.  Doctors here give out antibiotics like crazy, too, because they don’t want to be sued if it turns out the patient really does have a bacterial infection.  They don’t want to tell someone in their office to wait it out, there’s nothing we can do for the common cold (that’s why it’s so common, we can’t beat it), so they just give them some pills.

Eventually antibiotics will become useless anyway, and there aren’t many, if any, companies developing new ones because there isn’t any money it them and the FDA makes it expensive and time consuming to bring new drugs to the market.  Common sense reforms are desperately needed in this area, but no one is talking about it.

Pay attention to me!!!Our second story is just a quick word on Dr. Phil McGraw. 

You’ve heard about Britney’s breakdown over the last week, and we’re not looking to pile on her.  We aren’t fans, but we have no desire to watch her destroy herself or celebrate as it happens.  But Dr. Phil is a different story.

He showed up at the hospital to help, or so he says.  Why they couldn’t get a non-television host doctor to help is beyond us.  Since then, he and the family have had a falling out because, they say, he betrayed their trust.  Why anyone would trust a doctor who wanted to do a show on your troubles rather than quietly try to help you is, once again, beyond us.  It’s their lives to lead or screw up how they want.

But this line from Dr. Phil caught our attention:

“Somebody needs to step up and get this young woman into some quality care-and I do not apologize one whit, not one second, for trying to make that happen.”

Dr. Phil, you should not apologize for stepping up and trying to help, but you should apologize for calling a press conference to announce that fact, and all the statements you’ve made since. 


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January 2008
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