The "orthodox" medical community has a history of arrogance, dogmatism, and hostility to new ideas. That attitude has been changing recently, and patients are benefiting.
For more than a century, those with MD degrees had a monopoly on the legal practice of medicine. Patients went to doctors submissively, and did not dare question their pronouncements. Any potential competition to medical doctors was denounced as quackery. Diet and environment were dismissed as largely irrelevant factors in disease. Vitamin supplementation was declared to be unnecessary for people who eat a "normal diet".
Those attitudes have not vanished, but the easy public availability of alternate information, and the discouraging results of some standard medical treatments (for example, the excruciating and often ineffective treatments of some cancers) have made people less timid about utilizing non-standard treatments and practitioners. Furthermore, public opinion and other factors have forced the orthodox medical community to widen its view. Today, some physicians even refer patients to chiropractors, a move that would previously have jeopardized an MD's license.
Information that casts doubt on some aspects of medicine has begun to appear in newspapers and magazines. Such information was previously available, if at all, only in the scholarly medical literature. Recent examples include:
Perhaps most encouraging, most doctors are no longer hostile to patients who want to take a more active role in determining their treatment. Many hospitals now even have resident patients' advocates, and will provide you with a pamphlet informing you of your rights.
What can you do to get the best health care possible? In a new book "Power to the Patient", Dr. Isadore Rosenfeld recommends the following:
W. A. Shapiro