Patient Ed. 104

Another Brick In The Wall?

We don’t need no education…

The United States has become an entitlement society where there is often little accountability for actions and decisions made or taken by its citizens. Nowhere is this more glaringly evident than in healthcare.

Americans rely on technology for their health, rather than solid decision-making grounded in logic and reason (and an abundance of scientific evidence). The culture encourages us to enjoy our steak, and take our beta-blocker in the morning. “Go ahead,” it says, “drink the carbonated high fructose corn syrup and take a shot of insulin later in the day”. We keep eating, drinking and smoking our way to poor health with the expectation that modern medicine will be able to overcome our own self-destructive behaviors.

We are a culture that resembles children more than adults, continually making poor choices without immediate consequences. As a result, despite the best intentions of the responsible clinician, patient education will often fail. Especially in pain science, where the greatest evidence supports the education of the patient and affording them the locus of control in their own care, patients will often seek out the clinician who can “fix” them. They want someone else to get them better, just like their beta-blocker; this is the American way.

Why? Perhaps they don’t need no thought control…or…perhaps ignorance is a liberty they think they can afford.


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