QUICKLINKS AND VIEW OPITONS
What I Wish I Had Said
Friday, January 15, 2016 12:17 pm Email this article
The other day a nurse working at a weight loss clinic called me on behalf of the doctors running her clinic to find out what I do that makes me so successful with the group I am so successful with, i.e. motivated smart people mostly women with a BMI of 25-35. This group constitutes the majority of the people coming to my clinic. Of course my view is that the people with a BMI of 25-30 don’t need help at all, since that group has the longest lifespan, lowest mortality, NOT the skinny people (Flegal 2005). My other view is that we should not be using BMI, but instead some measure involving abdominal girth, waist-hip ratio or body fat percentage.
The nurse mentioned that their clinic does not use phentermine longer than 3 months because of the risk of addiction. I told her there is no such risk. No primary evidence anywhere that phentermine is addictive in the 57 years the drug has been on the market. I know this to be true because I have read everything about phentermine. I have worked as an expert witness in court.
In less than a minute, on my cell phone I found a 2011 study showing that phentermine is not addictive. Go to https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01402674
I think I asked the nurse where her doctors got the idea that phentermine was addictive? I don’t remember her answer; I tend not to listen well when I am giving one of my favorite speeches. I suspect she said her doctors just read it somewhere or heard it somewhere. If that is what she said, then I wish I had asked the following. Do you consider it acceptable for patients to go to doctors for the sake of knowledge based on hearsay and guessing? Don’t patients assume the doctor’s knowledge is more substantial? Do you think it is right for doctors to spend all their time in patient care, and no time in reading and study?
And not just reading advertising furnished by the drug companies.
Medical education should teach doctors how to find and interpret scientific studies. Medical education should teach doctors ethics (Please read the four-page essay The Ethics of Belief by W, K. Clifford). I even think medical students should be encouraged to choose a specialty as soon as possible so they can narrow their focus to a range of knowledge they can really learn. Only the most amazing minds can aspire to being generalists. And then I think doctors should never be proud of the large number of patients they see each day; they should be proud instead of the amount of time spent with each patient. My profession is an art, not a job. It is a trust, not a right.
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