Western medical know-how excels in emergency medicine. If you are suffering from a car accident or other sudden trauma, then the medical technology that pumps you full of anesthetics and separates your rib cage during surgery is truly a God send. Unfortunately, mainstream medicine completely falls apart when it comes to dealing with chronic degenerative diseases as well as other lesser yet more common ailments.
I find it rather interesting that one of the Big Pharma oligopolic corporations ended up compiling an entire medical text on diagnosis and therapy. Perhaps they needed an excuse to peddle even more pharmaceutical “medications” upon hapless patients through “their” doctors who do whatever the drug sales rep tells them to do. Of course, contemporary American medical practice is so unscientific that it’s fucking ridiculous, particularly that of the pseudo-science known as psychiatry; don’t forget the publicly acknowledged trend of wealthier patients fleeing to (even socialist!) foreign countries seeking better quality medicinal goods and services.
In any case, I’m glad to report that the “therapy” portions of this reference work were not limited to corporatist-only profitable synthetic concoctions, for other options were presented, like biofeedback and various “relaxation” methods. Come to think of it, weren’t those only “alternative” medicine techniques not that long ago? Oh well, I should know better than critique either the safety or efficacy of Big Pharma’s alchemic cocktails of death, right? Because the FDA, as an Administrative Agency, could never have any conflicts of interest or ulterior motives that would end up harming patients, now would they? But I digress…
The section on Gastrointestinal Disorders was fascinatingly gross, especially the chapter on the Approach to the Patient with Lower GI Complaints. Check out this lovely gem on farting:
“There is great variability in the quantity and frequency of rectal gas passage. As with stool frequency, people who complain of flatulence often have a misconception of what is normal. The average number of gas passages is about 13 to 21/day. Objectively recording flatus frequency (using a diary kept by the patient) is a first step in evaluation.”
“Because hepatobiliary disease alone rarely causes bilirubin levels > 30 mg/dL (> 513 µmol/L), higher levels usually reflect a combination of severe hepatobiliary disease and hemolysis or renal dysfunction. Low albumin and high globulin levels suggest chronic rather than acute liver disease. An elevated PT or INR that decreases after giving vitamin K (5 to 10 mg IM for 2 to 3 days) favors cholestasis over hepatocellular disease but is not conclusive.”
Aside from the absolutely riveting details about whether to physically restrain an actual mental retard or not, I felt as if my time would be better spent doing other useless and counter-productive things, like protesting the police state, or worse, voting for Gary Johnson.
The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy is one piece of work I will not miss returning back to the local “public” (government) library. It was completely unhelpful in terms of actually telling me what I need to be doing in a medical situation, thus negating most of its value in terms of treatment, so don’t let the title fool you. This is mainly a book on medical diagnostics, so if you can’t tell the difference between a mammogram and a pap smear, you’d be better off using the search engine on WebMD.