Preventive medicine, according to this author, was the use of medications to prevent further disease. The example that was given was this: If a patient with high cholesterol would simply take statin-drugs to lower their cholesterol, they could likely prevent heart disease which can lead to further complications and further costs.
I sighed when I read this. While the above statement is true, it's missing the point. We, as a society, still haven't seemed to have figured out what preventive medicine is. It doesn't mean taking a pill for the rest of our lives to cover up a symptom. While this can be a valid step in making sure irreparable damage isn't done, it isn't preventive medicine.
Now, don't get me wrong. It is often necessary for someone to take a pill while their body learns to take over the function that the pill is meant to mimic. In the above case, it is extremely important to get high cholesterol under control, and a drug may be necessary to achieve this quickly to avoid damage to the vascular system. However, there are further steps that are required! Diet and exercise changes among the basic of these.
The end goal of ANY branch of medicine should not be to merely get bloodwork numbers within an acceptable range, but for the patient to be able to sustain those numbers on their own at some point.
(Disclaimer: I'm not saying that all people should live medication-free. Some health concerns are uncontrollable without chemical intervention. However, in an ideal world, these patients are still keeping their medication doses as low as possible by using preventive medicine.)
Preventive medicine should be seen as medicine that teaches and allows the body to function properly without chemical intervention on a permanent basis.
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