The doctor is no longer the expert you turn to for genuine health advice. Their focus is almost entirely on dispensing prescription drugs and hospital procedures, all squeezed into the health insurance-mandated 10 or 15 minutes. This is not a formula for health success, but for health disaster. It therefore becomes your job to manage personal health.
But you are not in this alone. In this new age of online communities and easy access to limitless information, collaboration becomes key.
Here is an excerpt on this topic from my book, Undoctored:
The information tide has shifted. Public ignorance in health may have been the rule in 1950, but rapid dissemination of information in our age has usurped this lopsided relationship, making the paternalistic doctor-patient relationship of the past as relevant as trepanation (drilling holes in the skull—yes, a real practice) to treat migraines. You have access to the same information as your doctor. And it doesn’t involve leafing through dozens of thick volumes of the Index Medicus like I did during my medical training, then having to retrieve a study from dusty stacks of medical journals. The new leveled playing field of immediately accessible information means that a new clinical study read by your neurologist or gynecologist is available to you with a few mouse clicks. The cult-like, guarded monopoly over health information is long gone, replaced by immediate, widespread information readily accessible to everyone. The resources available to us have exploded. And they continue to increase at an exponential rate.
The growth in medical information means that the education your doctor received in medical school and training is dusty, moth-ridden, and obsolete. Information doubled every 50 years in 1950, every 7 years in 1980, every 3.5 years in 2010, and, if current trends continue, every 73 days by 2020 (Densen 2011). And information growth is not just within medicine, but in other areas that impact on human health, such as toxicology due to proliferation of industrial toxins in the environment that disrupt endocrine health and increase risk for cancer, or environmental science and urban planning since city noise, smog, congestion, and stress all affect health. No living human can keep up with the information load and hope to provide up-to-date healthcare, no matter how smart, hard working, or how fancy the equipment or number of operating rooms. It means that dealing with this boom in health information requires new tools to organize it all, put it to practical use, extract maximum health benefit.
What if we combined the newly-found informational freedom provided by search capabilities of the Internet, harness the human feedback tool of social media, take advantage of the boom in direct-to-consumer testing that circumvents the doctor, then throw in a little benign guidance from sources that do not seek to profit from providing it . . . you might just be on your way to wielding considerable authority over your own health. You’ll apply the methods unique to the Information Age, unconcerned with ritual, intimidation, and profit. And some pretty darned incredible things can happen: weight can melt away effortlessly, joint pain and skin rashes can recede, acid reflux and irritable bowel syndrome symptoms can reverse within days, fibromyalgia and ulcerative colitis begin a powerful retreat, prescription medications become superfluous—all by sharing in a growing collective information exchange.
This is one of the reasons why we also launched the Undoctored Inner Circle, the website that cultivates better ways to collaborate in health such as our Virtual Meetups by video, our discussion Forum, and growing video library. The goal: magnificent health without the interference of the doctor or healthcare system, achieved inexpensively and safely, with results that are superior to that obtained through conventional means.