Over the last few months I have been reflecting on which direction medicine has been heading in the last few decades. It is clear that patients like consumers are looking for immediate response and results from their healthcare professionals. Intern, I see a trend of people moving toward urgent care centers, telemedicine and local pharmacist for questions and advice on issues that arise acutely such as common colds, headaches, stomach aches and flu shots.
But what about the patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, Alzheimer’s and Lyme disease, just to name a few, who are they turning to? Well because most of these patients get a 5 to 10 minute in person appointment with their healthcare provider they look for support and answers to many of their questions from the social media community of fellow patients who are going through the same thing or have been through something similar in the past.
Despite all the advances we’ve made in technology and medicine in the last millennia, it appears that our chronic and more complicated patients are getting less personalized and lower quality care then they did 50 years ago. More often than not they are receiving medical advice from a fellow patient often whom they know very little about.
So in the spirit of change and making medicine great again, I point out these changes that were brought on by big pharma, large scale insurance companies and large healthcare systems who are pushing quantity over quality.
Our chronically ill patient population is only rising and so I urge to look at the causes of chronic diseases rather than put out fires by treating only the symptoms. Now over a decade into practicing medicine, it is clear to me that our environment such as: life style, diet, environmental exposures and recurrent infections all affect our immune system that intern predisposes people to chronic and often degenerative diseases.
Therefore, instead of reading this in a chat room or a Facebook/Instagram post of a “Friend” – I would like to make you aware that everything that you do in your daily life affects your immune system in some way. These affects can be minor and not palpable or big and devastating. After seeing thousands of patients I know that recurrent exposure to infections, such as Lyme bacteria and co-infections, as well as other viruses and bacteria – does significantly alter the immune system either transiently or in some instances permanently.
We should be vigilant about what stressors we put on our immune system and try to avoid unnecessary strains on an often overburdened immunity.
Your tips on protecting the immune system:
Finally, the time to worry about your health is when you are healthy.
In good health,
ELENA FRID, M.D. ABPN, ABCN
CNN Exclusive: California launches investigation following stunning admission by Aetna medical director and a patient who was denied coverage for intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG)
California's insurance commissioner has launched an investigation into Aetna after learning a former medical director for the insurer admitted under oath he never looked at patients' records when deciding whether to approve or deny care.
California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones expressed outrage after CNN showed him a transcript of the testimony and said his office is looking into how widespread the practice is within Aetna.
"If the health insurer is making decisions to deny coverage without a physician actually ever reviewing medical records, that's of significant concern to me as insurance commissioner in California -- and potentially a violation of law," he said.
UPCOMING 2018 EVENTS
FEBRUARY 23 - 7PM Lyme Talk in Larchmont School in NJ
MARCH 3 - "Tick Talk" - 8am-4pm West Shore Country Club, PA
APRIL 5-7 - Speaker at Unraveling Complex Chronic Illness - Chicago
APRIL 28TH - 4th Annual Midcoast Lyme Disease Support & Education conference in Maine
Dr. Elena Frid, a board-certified neurologist and clinical neurophysiologist who practices in New York City, is a member of the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society. Her website is www.elenafridmd.com. Follow her on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.
ELENA FRID, M.D. ABPN, ABCN
ADULT AND PEDIATRIC LYME EXPERT
BOARD CERTIFIED NEUROLOGIST & CLINICAL NEUROPHYSIOLOGIST
151 E 62nd, STE 1A New York, NY 10065 | T: 212-288-8832
Dr. Frid is a physician specializing in Lyme disease and sees patients with this condition - which is not universal among physicians. For more information about Lyme disease contact Dr. Frid
follow Dr. Frid on Instagram @drelenafrid.