Reactions To Articles On Modern Medicine
We have in America and to some extent abroad (particularly in France) a sharp division in medicine between practitioners and medical specialists seeking far-out solutions to the most pressing illnesses and dangerous epedemic possibilities.
In reading some of the present articles, one detects in one a fear of what geneticists are doing instead of a great enthusiasm at what they have already done. We MUST dismiss this fear to tread unwalked paths and put all of our energy into each possibility in genetic studies and others as the POSSIBILITIES appear to us.
The outrageous behavior of our government in attempting to slow the work in tissues obtained from fetuses because of some crazy religious reason is a good example of the dumbness of organized medical opposition.
Our division in medicine is an obvious one...on the one hand we have MD's who have come from struggling backgrounds and have chosen medicine mainly because of its lucrative possibilities. There is nothing wrong with that if they are good or excellent physicians...often they are not. But the biggest problem we have with them is SPECIALIZATION...if a physician or surgeon can only focus on a minute part of the human being, he loses all of the wonderful avenues of the connection of his specialty to all of the other things that are important and are inter-connected.
The same is to some extent true of the research scientist: he sometimes chooses a sole problem and gnaws at it, when the answer may be in an unrelated area.
We need Renaissance doctors...we need a Da Vinci mind with a medical bent for each of the thousands of problems in health that could be solved by a concerted attack. An excellent example is the present medical miracle of creating live flesh...much news has been given to an isolated regrowth of an amputated finger and the resultant science of growing human bladders from pig bladder regermination.
There is an incident of a finger being thus regrown in 1929, but there was no scientific follow-up and the resultant discovery of what is now routine waited 70 years.
That 70 years illustrates a major problem in fine research: we researchers have an average life-span of say 80 years. If we have not culminated in the goal of our search by our death NEARLY ALWAYS our accomplished research bangs back to square one.
Two examples: in 1936, a physician ( a Dr. Miller, first name un-remembered) in Pennsylvania worked out a laborious but excellent cure and amelioration for multiple sclerosis. It was reviewed in the medical journals and even appeared in an article in Readers Digest. But he died suddenly and no one followed up upon his splendid work.
The second example is that of Dr. Wilder Penfield, whose view of the brain (and thus the mind) was hundreds of years ahead of all other neurology. A simple article in ATLANTIC MONTHLY (November 1953 Issue) explained the structure of his work. He died in 1969 at which time he was President of the McGill University medical school. But in spite of laudations of his work at his decease, there has been no major global use of his expertise by international neurologists.
In summing up this small article, we need to ameliorate specialization in practice by training in medical school that is once again a knowledge of our whole life system and THEN entry into the specialty. We need to obtain huge sums of money for targeting our most dangerous epidemic possibilities and that without government surveillance or intervention.We MUST apply the same reasoning to all of the pertinent and moving research that seems already to promise a tomorrow of conquering disease. It can be done.