21 April, 2009

Taking the Naturopaths Out to the Woodshed

Several days ago, PalMD threw a challenge in the naturopaths' teeth: what would they do as the primary care provider for a patient with a specific set of symptoms? Several responded, trying to defend the woo. They failed rather spectacularly.

PalMD takes them apart in a concluding post. And I think that what he says goes a long way to explaining why medical doctors are rather hostile to naturopaths as a whole. It's not because they're competition. It's because they're dangerous:
You see, one of the problems with naturopaths, as opposed to other "alternative" healers, is that their education allows them to sound like they know what they're doing. They are a lot like 2nd-year medical students---they know a lot, but they don't yet know the extent of their own ignorance (and I think most doctors can tell you how humbling it is to move on from the pre-clinical to the clinical years). This also allows them to get it partly right, which in medicine can be mostly deadly.
The whole post's worth reading. And if you do, you'll understand exactly why doctors shudder when patients start to burble about "natural" medicine.

1 comment:

PalMD said...

thanks for the shout-out! It's been a lively discussion.