I always thought Western Medicine is the way to go. I believed that we can cut out tumors and make cancer disappear. I thought we can cure people with pharmaceuticals or surgeries. However, my belief was challenged when I noticed the side effects of pharmaceutical drugs and surgeries are sometimes much much more severe than the original problem. I started to doubt whether being a medical doctor is truly what I wanted to do.
I know I want to help people live better, longer, healthier lives. I know the only true cure to any health problem is getting rid of the source. So, I started to panic since it seems like finding the source to a health problem is pretty nonexistent. Often times, doctors prescribe drugs to alleviate the symptoms and hope our body is strong enough to fight off the real issue. Most of the time for healthy individuals this will work. But it doesn’t work well for the elderly and immunocompromised patients. I started to panic and sought for guidance from my medical doctor.
We talked about how anything can be a contributing factor to a possible future ailment. Identifying the source might be difficult. We started to venture in discussing other ways of helping people with their health problems without using medications. Diet and exercise were the first two to come up and eventually we started to venture into Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
He told me his personal experience how Eastern Medicine had saved his life when Western medical doctors had given up. This isn’t to say that Eastern Medicine is a miracle worker nor is it magic. This also does not negate the fact that Western Medicine does help a lot of people.
I became very curious about TCM and wanted to learn more about it. It was difficult at first since I came from a biomedical background and needed concrete evidence to believe its effectiveness. I’m still in search for the “TRUTH.” But, even in the Western biomedical labs, I have trouble believing whether something is true or not based on experimental set-ups and the researcher’s analysis of the X amount of reproducible data.
I’ve only finished my first semester in learning TCM, which by the way is the style of learning chinese medicine to balance individuals’ Qi (pronounced: chee) using various modalities such as acupuncture, herbology, tai chi, qi gong, tuina, etc.
All I can say so far is that this subject is interesting. Some scientists find it quackery, some swear by it, then there are some who questions it but accepts it because it works for them or someone they know. I fall in the last group.
In the end, it doesn’t matter who thinks what. My goal is to become a provider who can help people live better, longer, healthier lives. I’m excited since I think TCM will help me better understand my patient population and help me achieve my goal.
Looking forward to a healthier future.