Conventional medicine, as we know it today, has a long and fascinating history. But what began as a noble quest for healing and health has increasingly come under the influence of the pharmaceutical industry. This influence has changed medicine and diluted many of its original principles. Modern conventional medicine is no longer what it once was, and this change has had a significant impact on human health. It is time to rethink conventional medicine and return it to its true values.

The origins of conventional medicine

The origins of conventional medicine can be traced back to ancient times, when people began to systematically collect knowledge about diseases and their treatment. Famous personalities such as Hippocrates and Galen laid the foundation for the later scientific medicine. Their work was based on observations and natural remedies. Over the centuries, these methods were further developed and supplemented by scientific findings.

In the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, orthodox medicine made great strides. Discoveries in anatomy and physiology helped doctors to gain a better understanding of the human body. This led to more accurate diagnoses and more effective treatments. The discovery of microorganisms in the 19th century by scientists such as Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch further revolutionized medicine and laid the foundation for modern infection control.

The influence of the pharmaceutical industry on conventional medicine

With the industrial revolution and the increasing commercialization, the pharmaceutical industry began to play an increasingly important role in medicine. While this initially had many positive effects, such as the development of life-saving drugs and vaccines, it also led to a shift in priorities within conventional medicine.

The pharmaceutical industry has immense financial resources that it invests in research and development of new drugs. However, this has also led to an increasing influence of economic interests on conventional medicine. Instead of providing the best possible treatment for patients, profit maximization and market share are the main focus. This has led medicine away from naturopathic treatments and home remedies to strong chemical preparations that are not always necessary.

The good thing about conventional medicine

Despite all the criticism, the positive aspects of conventional medicine should not be overlooked. Thanks to conventional medicine, many diseases that were previously considered difficult to treat have been successfully brought under control or greatly contained. Some vaccinations have had a significant impact on public health and helped to contain serious diseases.

In the field of diagnostics, too, conventional medicine has made enormous progress. Imaging techniques such as X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography enable diseases to be detected at an early stage and treated in a targeted manner. These achievements are undoubtedly remarkable and show that conventional medicine is still fundamentally pursuing the goal of improving people’s health.

The need for a revision of conventional medicine

Despite its successes, conventional medicine is no longer what it once was. The influence of the pharmaceutical industry has led to an over-reliance on drugs, which often contain strong chemical substances and are not always the best solution. Many of these drugs are prescribed even though there are natural alternatives or home remedies that have fewer side effects and are often just as effective.

Integrating complementary and alternative medicine

One way to rethink conventional medicine is to integrate complementary and alternative medical approaches. These forms of medicine encompass a wide range of practices and healing methods that have been used in many cultures for centuries. Examples include

  • Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM): This includes acupuncture, herbal medicine, tai chi and qigong. TCM emphasizes the balance of yin and yang and the harmonious functioning of the body’s organs.
  • Ayurveda: This traditional Indian medicine focuses on balancing the three doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) through herbs, diet, yoga and meditation.
  • Homeopathy: Based on the principle of “like cures like”, homeopathy uses highly diluted substances to stimulate the body’s self-healing powers.
  • Naturopathy: This encompasses a wide range of treatments that use natural remedies such as plants, nutrition, exercise and hydrotherapeutic applications.

Promoting preventive medicine

Another important approach to reconsidering conventional medicine is to place greater emphasis on preventive medicine. Preventive measures can help to prevent diseases before they occur and improve general health and quality of life. These include:

  • Health education and promotion: Educational campaigns on healthy eating, exercise, stress management and avoiding risk factors such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.
  • Regular health check-ups: Early detection can help to identify and effectively treat diseases such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
  • Vaccinations: Despite the debate about their effectiveness and safety, vaccinations can play a role in the prevention of certain infectious diseases if they are carried out according to strict scientific criteria and taking into account the individual’s state of health.

Holistic approach and personalized medicine

Conventional medicine should also adopt a more holistic approach that considers the person as a whole and does not just focus on treating symptoms. This means taking into account the physical, mental and emotional aspects of health and tailoring treatment plans to the individual needs of each patient.

  • Personalized medicine: Advances in genomics and other scientific disciplines are enabling treatments to be tailored to the genetic and molecular profile of individual patients. This can increase the effectiveness of therapies and minimize side effects.
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration: Better collaboration between different medical disciplines and health professionals can ensure more comprehensive and effective treatment plans. These include doctors, physiotherapists, psychologists, nutritionists and other specialists.

Promoting patient autonomy and patient involvement

Another important aspect of the review of conventional medicine is the role of patients. Patients should be encouraged to take an active role in their health and to make informed decisions. This requires more education and transparency on the part of doctors and the pharmaceutical industry. Patients should be informed about all treatment options, including naturopathic treatments and alternative therapies.

Improving doctor-patient communication

Good communication between doctor and patient is crucial to successful treatment. Doctors should take time to answer their patients’ concerns and questions in detail. This creates trust and promotes a partnership that benefits the patient’s health.

Conclusion: Conventional medicine in transition

Conventional medicine has undergone an impressive development from its modest beginnings to the highly developed scientific methods of today. However, the influence of the pharmaceutical industry has meant that conventional medicine is no longer what it once was. It is time for conventional medicine to return to its true values. People’s health should always be the priority, not profit. A greater emphasis on natural remedies and a patient-centered approach are the key to better and more sustainable medicine. Conventional medicine has the potential to return to its original purpose of serving people without being driven by economic interests.

Published on: 6. June 2024


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