I know talking about anything related to politics on a blog that is ostensibly about helping to sell myself to potential employers is bad, bad news, but we live in an era where the political, professional and personal are inextricably linked.
Thinking about what’s going on with healthcare right now doesn’t just make my head hurt—it makes my heart hurt. To live in such a wealthy and high-achieving country, and yet being able to afford healthcare, and even just being healthy, is a luxury.
I personally know so many people whose lives have been touched and forever changed for the better by the Affordable Care Act. Sure, I also know people who have to pay more for their insurance and grouse about it, but what most Americans don’t appreciate is that the price of insurance is only going to keep going up and up, unless you are willing to sacrifice the coverage you receive. And so basically, we’ve got a system in which even a great many people who have coverage can’t afford to use it.
But hoo boy, I am really digressing from the point I want to make!
As traditional healthcare gets further and further out of reach for a bigger slice of the population, I think there’s going to be a huge shift in people looking for alternative medicine—beyond smoking pot, I mean. Like chiropractic, acupuncture, and massage therapy, for starters, but also homeopathy and other practices that get a lot of side-eye from the traditional medical establishment.
Which for the most part, is good! Western medicine is a very blunt instrument that does not work for everyone. What’s more, non-traditional/alternative/complementary care can empower the individual, and often save time and money by allowing him or her to sidestep the gatekeepers and the often Byzantine health care system, and get care from the provider he or she chooses.
But I’m scared that we’ve got the perfect storm of opportunities for charlatans and snake oil salesmen to swoop in and defraud the truly sick. Look at Goop and all of the weird, awful, pseudoscience being peddled (a million times no to the idea of sticking random jeweled balls up my cooch). Or the unregulated online marketplaces that are cropping up, where the proprietors absolve themselves of any responsibilities for what’s being listed. It takes a certain level of sophistication and critical thinking to sift through which choices are valid…and err, let’s not get started on the current state of scientific literacy and old-fashioned common sense in this era.
So anyway, here is the inevitable self promo bit: I wrote this piece a couple of years ago about my own desperate quest for relief with alternative therapy. It’s a little tongue in cheek, but here’s the thing: I’m highly educated, I’ve spent years working in healthcare and pharma…in short, I know what’s up and in the end, I still made some poor decisions.
I don’t want to end on a downer note, so I’ll mention that my outcome was good, and I don’t regret my decision for a minute.
And in case you don’t already know about it, allow me to introduce you to the delightful blog of Dr. Jen Gunter, anactual, real-live, trained as a professional actual doctor who thoughtfully, carefully, and gleefully takes the piss out of a lot of bad and popular ideas that are running around masquerading as science.
Um, now after all that, can I have a job now, please?