Journey To The Book

I grew up in a lower-middle class/blue collar neighborhood which is why I've never underestimated the intelligence of the average American. This was part of my motivation in writing this book: if the average patient could be brought "up to speed" on a scientific approach to healthcare decision making, then healthcare systems could be held much more accountable for how they use resources.

You'll be amazed but most healthcare providers are not trained to be scientific in their healthcare decision making. Science simply means that we prove that a piece of medical technology (medication, test, intervention such as surgery) actually improves your health more than it produces negative side effects; more than other treatment options; and enough to justify the cost. Cost IS important because wasted resources mean we don't have the money to pursue other healthcare options that are quite valuable for our health.

How did I become scientific in my thinking? Immediately after completing my medical residency in Anesthesiology/Critical Care, I was fortunate to receive a fellowship called the National Institute of Health Scientist Training Grant. During this three year period I received a Master's Degree in Clinical Research from the Medical College of Wisconsin. I helped to design and execute clinical trials in which we studied various new medications. These medications included oxygen-delivery substitutes that are used in the event of severe blood loss; a class of medication to reduce heart damage from patients undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery; and another class of medications designed to support the function of the heart after a patient undergoes the grueling coronary artery bypass procedure. My classroom and in-the-field training as a clinical scientist was a completely eye-opening experience. It became quite evident to me that healthcare decision making was remarkably unscientific, which was allowed by poor accountability for health outcomes especially on the part of the American healthcare system. The combination of poor scientific discipline with increasingly expensive and dangerous medical technology was deadly, hence the inspiration for the title: "Modern Medicine is Killing You".

My science journey through healthcare has a surprising twist. As a practicing physician, I also became interested in the impact that various life factors had on health outcomes. These factors include state of mind, relationships, spirituality, diet, sleep, and exercise. The results of this ten year exploration have been even more astonishing than the lack of science in modern medical decision-making. In a nutshell, whereas average life expectancies have increased by 40 years, modern medicine has only yielded approximately 4 of these 40 years. It is a pervasive and dangerous myth that modern medicine is the primary reason that you are living longer. This myth is dangerous (a second reason for killing you) because it has prevented society from holding healthcare systems accountable for the best possible health outcomes relative to the amount of resources being invested. The American healthcare system has by far the worst return on investment in the world. Furthermore, the myth of modern medicine's benefit has distracted the medical establishment from tapping into the power of life factors to influence health and healing. These "Life Ecology Factors" control as much as a 20 year variance in how long you will live.

The third and final aspect of my modern medicine exploration resulted from various healthcare leadership roles in which I participated including: the directing of medical departments and building medical departments from scratch. I performed these roles within a couple of large non-profit healthcare systems in Wisconsin. This was another eye opening set of experiences. Simultaneously, I completed a 150 credit course to become a physician-executive. Again, the combination of classroom and practical experiences helped me to realize that the healthcare system has become so complex and wasteful that it is harming people directly and indirectly; thus, another reason it has the potential to kill you.

About two years ago it became apparent after many presentations of this material (the book has nearly 600 references) that not only was the average non-medical person unaware of these three major causes of worsening health but so were most professionals within the healthcare system. The only way to create large-system change is to create a political movement and the only way to achieve this is broad awareness through education. This is my primary goal. Once we establish broad awareness of the key evidence and principles, we will have the motivation to build the correct accountability and incentives for driving excellence in the delivery of healing AND the promotion of health. Please join me.

©2017 Life Ecology Org, LLC. ~ All material is the property of the Life Ecology Org, LLC. and may only be used with permission.