Jen- “Thank you for calling the pharmacy, how can I help you today?”
Patient – “Can you help me get what my doctor ordered? I really need help.”
Jen- “Hi Debra! I just received the order that your physician sent to us, and yes, we can help you”
Patient – Heavy sobbing, then she was elated with tears of joy “Oh my goodness, you are my
angel! You don’t know what I’ve been through to find help. Thank you so much.”
The above conversation is just an example of what people are going through. I feel their pain,
frustration, desperation, and anxiety when I talk to them. Never in my almost twenty-year career
have I ever felt so much hopelessness in the healthcare industry. Maybe it’s because I care too
much about the person on the other line, or maybe it’s because I just believe in medical
freedom. I don’t know, but this has been the hardest two years since I’ve been in healthcare
mainly because more people are feeling like they are not in control of their own health and
decisions. The illusion of medical freedom is a big problem in today’s world. You think that you
have the freedom to choose, but in reality, you do not. “They” have been making the decisions
on our behalf without consideration of a personalized approach in healthcare. Whoever you
think “they” are, is up to you. In the ideal world, should that decision be ultimately up to the
patient? The patient has the right to decide who can help guide them; typically this would
include their physician, nurse, family member, and in many cases, their trusted pharmacist.
I realize that we have a big issue when accessibility to a life-saving tool is in jeopardy. Those
tools can be many things, including nutrition, vitamins, medications, physicians and
pharmacists. During the past eighteen months, I’ve witnessed patients struggling to find the
help that they so desperately need. Some of the causes are due to the impact of the pandemic,
which is understandable. However, some other causes are from biased opinions and those
causes are unacceptable. When one’s subjective opinion can impose on the patient’s choice of
medical freedom, we are living in a world of tyranny. How do we get out of these situations?
What do we do now?
I think one simple answer is to keep an open mind. I’ve come to learn that with an open mind
and critical thinking skills, there is so much more to learn in the health and wellness field.
Notice, I did not use the word medicine. True health is not just medicine, it is so much more
than that. The information being fed to me via email communications come not only from a
conventional, allopathic source but also integrative and functional source. Since we all differ
physiologically and genetically, it would only make sense that the effect of therapeutics could
vary from one person to the next. Hence, using the cookie cutter approach is never ideal when
dealing with illnesses. I spend so much of my own time researching, reading, and
communicating with other colleagues so that I can have a complete view of the current state of
medical information. Then I apply what I learn everyday in personalized healthcare approaches.
You see, all of my patients are unique and their plan of care should be designed with that in
mind. They need my guidance and expertise, but ultimately, they get to make their own choice.
Why do I do this? My patients deserve it. I owe it to them when I took the Hippocratic Oath to do
no harm. Since this fight is in our field, we, the medical professionals, must come together and
become a team in order to overcome the challenges and pave the way for a better tomorrow.