Conventional medicine has a sad and dysfunctional relationship with nutrition. Growing evidence on connections between diet and disease means doctors are asked questions they have evaded for decades. Many of my clients experiencing the benefits of a healthy plant-based diet ask, “Why didn’t my doctor know about this?”
I fully respect the good work that most doctors do. Modern medicine can do many wonderful things. But the profession is rarely criticised or assessed rigorously from the outside. We seem much more interested in who pays the bill rather than the quality of the service. There are mythologies surrounding medicine that are deeply embedded in our culture and that profoundly affect our attitudes toward health.
Since the 1950s, medical shows on television have been standard entertainment; at last count, there have been 93 successful shows (32 in the UK) with a medical format. From Dr. Kildare and Ben Casey in the ’60s to ER and House in the 21st century, television doctors have portrayed the power of medicine over suffering and death.
But it is a mistake to believe that this power indicates that doctors understand health.
They are sickness experts – not health experts.
An analogy of the comparison is this: imagine a highway with hundreds of cars speeding along. Suddenly, a bridge collapses. Standing by the road, you see cars hurtling off it and into the canyon below. What do you do? Do you go down into the canyon and help those injured? Or do you stop the traffic?