A Second Opinion: You’ve Been Poisoned by Your Doctor

In a wonderful profile of master diagnostician Dr. Thomas Bolte, this especially pleased me:

Many of the patients Bolte sees are victims of iatrogenic, or doctor-caused, illness. Simply put, they have been misdiagnosed, overmedicated to the point of sickness, or given treatment inappropriate to their conditions. On occasion, this has led to shouting matches with more conventional docs, like the dermatologist colleague who burst into Bolte’s office one day and harangued him—in front of another patient—for telling the mom of an acne-ridden teen to stop feeding her child so much junk food. There’s no evidence that diet has anything to do with acne, the dermatologist shouted. Bolte begged to differ and cited the literature. “The pharmaceutical industry has trained even doctors to believe that there’s a pharmaceutical answer to everything,” he says, shrugging.

A large fraction of Bolte’s patients have been poisoned. They get better when the poison is stopped. The mother of a friend of mine was near death — so near that her children decided to put her in a hospice. By mistake her six or seven medicines were stopped. And she recovered! Her medicines were what had been killing her.

The technical term for such horrors is drug interaction.

Thanks to Dave Lull.