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Study: Doctors can harm your health

Study: Doctors can harm your health

Perhaps you think today's doctors are so well trained that they can gauge the problematic side effects of medication. You may also believe that surgeons perform surgery only when physically and mentally capable. That they only perform the operation if they are sure that they do not endanger the patient. Unfortunately, two recent studies show that one should not believe that. They reveal important aspects of why conventional medicine can endanger your health and even your life.

Pharmaceutical industry takes care of medical students

The big pharmaceutical companies influence the curricula of future physicians so strongly and at the same time so inconspicuously that one already speaks of so-called "secret curricula". This should be built with the appropriate pharmaceutical marketing measures during medical studies as close as possible a relationship between student and pharmaceutical industry, which will later lead to the doctor highly motivated prescribes the drugs of the companies concerned.

So there is a legitimate suspicion that drugs are often not prescribed out of necessity or for lack of alternatives, but because the doctor wants to bring as many drugs of his "friendly" pharmaceutical company to the man or patient. As a result, it may well be that doctors belong to those who are better off not trusting too much.

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Surgeons operate un-sleep and exhaustion

Another almost even worse danger posed by doctors is the one that one is exposed to when lying in the deep sleep of anesthesia and not a bit more aware of what happens to you. Whether the surgeon has slept off, whether he has just been abandoned by his wife and therefore can not think straight, whether he or one of his closest family members is struggling with health problems, whether he may be under the influence of drugs, of which learns Patient nothing.

And so countless surgeons operate on it happily, and even then - as a study found out - when they are not well rested and in completely exhausted condition. It goes without saying that in this case patients are hardly in safe hands but in serious danger.

Close friends: pharmaceutical industry and physicians

The study was conducted by Kirsten Austad and Aaron S. Kesselheim of the Harvard University Medical School and recently published in the journal PLoS Medicine. Austad and Kesselheim proved that the drug giants had set up a "secret curriculum" that influenced future doctors in the pharmaceutical industry.

This is done through intensive and non-stop contacts between students and pharmaceutical companies, so that the physicians automatically developed a positive attitude to the marketing measures for prescription drugs. Any mistrust of possible side effects is nipped in the bud.

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The research team from Harvard examined all published studies dealing with this topic and analyzed the data of a total of 9,850 medical students from 76 different universities. The results showed that most medical students were closely associated with the pharmaceutical industry and that contact intensified during their later years of practice.

Gifts and free seminars for medical students

Up to 90 percent of all students who worked directly with patients in clinics were provided with training materials by pharmaceutical companies, free seminars or even gifts in the form of gifts. As books, DVDs or active weekends. Most medical students were of the opinion that it was perfectly okay to receive and accept gifts from drug manufacturers.

They justified themselves with the fact that, as students, they usually lived in greater or lesser financial distress and were therefore almost dependent on the grants of the pharmaceutical industry. Some medical students said it must necessarily be ethical to accept gifts sponsored by pharmaceutical companies, as most other students would accept them.

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Majority of medical students are unaware of pharmaceutical influence

Almost two-thirds of the students felt that despite the fact that they were regularly gifted by the lobbyists of the pharmaceutical companies, they were immune to prejudice and bias. The opinion of the students about whether the interaction between doctors and industry should be regulated by law or by the faculties, however, was split.

Influence of the pharmaceutical industry must be reduced

The researchers were not a bit divided on this point, however, and recommended that there should be drastic changes, at least at faculty level, in order to ease, if not solve, the close "relationship" between physicians and pharmaceutical representatives. Thus, the universities should prevent the almost permanent irrigation of students with pharmaceutical advertising. Teaching physicians should be aware of their role model role for students and reject donations from the pharmaceutical industry.

More professional ethics desired

A lesser influence of the industry on medical education would have at least two important consequences: Firstly, the professional ethics of the medical profession would again clearly gain in quality, credibility and integrity. Secondly, in choosing the right therapy and prescribing medicines, physicians would be less guided by the recommendations of the pharmaceutical industry than by the results of clinical studies or other scientific evaluations - although many studies and scientific papers are often under the regulatory influence of the pharmaceutical industry Pharmaceutical companies emerge.

Pharmaceutical industry will not let up

However, the Harvard scientists feared that it would be quite difficult to restrict the influence of the pharmaceutical giant in the above-mentioned manner, as their position in the medical faculties was unimaginably consolidated and their sponsorships relentlessly controlled the universities and clinics like an octopus with their tentacles so that there would be little escape for the students and doctors in question - even if they wanted, which, as mentioned above, is seldom the case.

For patients, this means that the prescribed therapy is often prescribed only because the drugs are being promoted by the manufacturer, but not necessarily because they have shown in clinical trials to be particularly promising or side effects - how to that as a patient might wish.

But that is not the only wish whose fulfillment the patient is denied. Anyone who has to undergo surgery is hoping for a competent, responsible and consequently well-rested surgeon. Unfortunately, the hit rate of catching one seems to continue to fall.

Doctors suffer from lack of sleep

An article recently published in the Canadian medical journal CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) that physicians often put their patients at great risk because they have acute sleep deprivation. The scientists drew attention to a study that addressed the issue of "sleep deprivation among physicians" and found that doctor discomfort was increasingly the reason for surgical complications - especially if the surgeon had less than the previous night got six hours sleep.

The 10-year study has already led to strictly limited working hours for medical students, but trained doctors do not apply the working time limit. While physicians are usually closely supervised during surgery during operations, this rarely happens to experienced doctors, so that their mistakes almost never come to light.

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Lack of sleep equals 0.5 per thousand

The problem of overworked and therefore unresolved physicians could be exacerbated in the future due to staff reductions,

The editors of the CMAJ, the doctors Noni MacDonald, Paul HĆ©bert, Ken Flegel and Matthew Stanbrook, write in an editorial.

Lack of sleep due to night services leads to about the same impairment of judgment and motor skills as a blood alcohol content of about 0.5 per thousand.

If you get caught with such a blood alcohol content at the wheel - which may be the case with a pint of beer depending on the constitution - then you are 500 euros poorer, 4 points richer and may also say goodbye for a month of his driving license. The reason is simple: with 0.5 percent, the accident risk increases twice - and this is not only the case in road traffic, but also in the operating room.

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