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It is time for a rant. I am continually amazed at the lack of nutritional education among medical professionals today. It is not necessarily the sole fault of the doctors because the subject is not taught to the extent it should be in medical school. In fact, a study with the National Institutes of Health found that “most graduating medical students continue to rate their nutrition preparation as inadequate.” Ninety-nine of the 106 schools responding required some form of nutrition education; however, only 32 schools (30%) required a separate nutrition course! If food is what fuels the body, supports organic functions and all systems (neurological, immune, pulmonary, lymphatic, etc.), and helps regenerate new cells, why is it that doctors believe it is not an essential part of their practice? Instead, they rely on their knowledge of drugs.

Because more time is spent studying pharmaceuticals than nutrition, it is only reasonable that doctors would more readily prescribe drugs over proper nutritional guidance. There is a complete disconnect with medical treatments and advice on how to support the organ functions with the right food choices. If the old adage, “You are what you eat”, is something we can agree on why doesn’t this basic knowledge carry over into the doctor’s office?

Then there is the old saw bones song, “The knee bone’s connected to the hip bone…” All doctors study anatomy in medical school, but they continually forget that the body is an integrative network. They may know all there is to know about the intricacies of the hand and wrist as it relates to carpal tunnel but do they study how the shoulder and hip play a role in the biomechanics of the hand and wrist? You have knee pain? Let’s focus all of our attention on the knee. Never mind that the foot and ankle are what supports the knee from below and the rest of the body is being supported above the knee. If something were to go awry with another area of the body is it that unreasonable to believe that it might have a negative effect somewhere down the chain? Is it back pain you’re suffering from? Let’s go in and shave the disc down. That’s like having a sticky window because the foundation of the house shifted and caused the walls to tilt slightly. Go ahead and plane the sill so the window can glide, but if you don’t address the foundation’s issue, then you will eventually need to go back and shave more off the window. Somewhere down the road that window is just going to fall out.

My main point to all of this is that doctors are not Gods. They are not the omniscient beings that many people believe them to be. They only know what they know, and it isn’t everything. So if you are seeking advice on nutrition or joint issues, just know that there are other resources in the world you might want to investigate. Medical practice is just that…a practice. It is not a perfection. Fortunately, there are many curious medical minds who refuse to believe only what they read in books. They are the pioneers, and they have so much more of the frontier to explore.