What's Wrong with Conventional Medicine

Uploaded by drweil on 23.02.2010

Dr. Weil: By focusing only on the physical body and only giving physical treatments,
it has cut itself off from a lot of interventions that are more cost-effective than those that
we now use. Its unwavering commitment to the use of pharmaceutical drugs I see as a real
problem. I think adverse drug reactions are far and away the leading category of doctor-caused
disease; the costs of pharmaceutical drugs are a major reason why healthcare costs are
out of control. There are other ways of treating many common conditions that don't involve
giving pharmaceuticals - there are mind-body interventions, dietary adjustments, other
lifestyle measures that can all be tried before you prescribe a pharmaceutical drug - but
that's just one example. I think another root problem is that our healthcare system at the
moment is really a disease management system that we're intervening an established disease
and we're not really preventing disease, we're not teaching people how to be healthy, we're
not promoting healthy lifestyle and healthy behavior.
Off-camera: The irony is that Americans spend more per capita than anyone else but we're
not really healthier.
Dr. Weil: It's worse than that, we spend more per capita by a long shot on healthcare and
by any measure of health outcomes we are at or near the bottom. Clearly something is wrong
with that picture - we're spending more and have less and less to show for it so I think
the obvious conclusion is we're spending our healthcare dollars in wrong ways. Specifically,
we're spending them on intervention and established disease rather than toward preventing the
disease in the first place.
Off-camera: Is it the profit motive that treating diseases is profitable if you have a pharmaceutical-based
Dr. Weil: I think that there's no question at the moment there are many vested interests
that are making out from the present system and they will be very resistant to change
but the whole system is going down so at some point that will all have to change.