0044 (0)7401 719619 keith@wats-on.net

I was delighted to read that a medical training school for GPs in Australia is throwing off the blinkers and introducing into their curriculum, education about alternative therapies.

“Areas of interest will include mind-body medicine such as hypnosis and meditation, evidence-based nutritional and environmental medicine and evidence-based herbal medicine,”


http://www.watoday.com.au/national/gp-training-to-include-the-fringe-alternatives-20080705-322f.html

And about time.

I have some very close doctor friends who I have met socially and at work in the days that I was a registered nurse.

So I don’t write any of this with any malice and anyway what I am about to say is a generalisation.

Too many doctors – especially specialists – will remember everything about the xrays, scans, lab results etc but very little about the patient to whom those investigations belong.

Wehey Keith – that’s a bit harsh isn’t it?  I wish it was.

I have recently had a leg problem – which has been seen now by three different doctors and given three different diagnoses. Currently it is being treated as erisipilis (no it is not a sexually transmitted disease) a rather rare streptococcal type of cellulitis that can affect the joints and more worryingly the heart.

One of the three doctors I saw was frankly very poor and looked at the swollen leg briefly and didn’t even make eye contact. I was trying to tell him about the fever that had been present 48 hours before any leg symtoms. I was constantly talking to the back of this medics head and I don’t think any of the history registered.

This doctor was a particularly bad example but I really do feel that there is a genuine need for doctor training to have a more holistic basis.

I will balance things up by saying that when my own GP – who is excellent – finally saw my leg (and the rest of me) and heard the history of the onset he diagnosed with 100 percent certainty.  And so onto long term Penicillin.

It is really important to treat the whole person physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally.

It is only since working closely with Adam Eason and witnessing his hypnotherapy that I have realised the power of the mind and how that can be utilised to accelarate enormously the recovery from illness by relieving stress and pain levels as a couple of examples.

I am sorry to say that the Melbourne GP’s response in the report will be typical of probably a majority of doctors:

Melbourne GP and Australian Skeptics member Stephen Basser said the college had “lost the plot” and should be defending scientific medicine.

Oh blinkered one. Why oh why does he use the word ‘defending’? If medicine was the total answer nobody would be looking for alternatives.

This is the point:

But the college says alternative medicine is growing in popularity, and doctors should be able to give reliable advice on these therapies.

Could it just be that the popularity has anything to do with the effectiveness of the therapies.  Word of mouth is a very powerful force.

I think that when the trainee doctors actually take a serious look at some of the alternative therapies they may be pleasantly surprised – who knows they may even find that they have a whole raft of new solutions to offer their patients.

A GP friend of mine told me recently that he feels fairly powerless when he meets overweight patients.  He can only advise to eat a smaller healthier diet and exercise more.  Well we all know that BUT….

Dare I suggest that self-hypnosis could be prescribed to a patient who really wanted to lose weight so that the patient could train their sub-conscious mind to steer them constantly and permanently to behaviours that would reduce their weight.

Hmmm – that would be an enlightened response but maybe – just maybe – in Australia soon.

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