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The Medical Mafia and Worse
#1
I love the term the "Medical Mafia."

I think it's a very accurate insight about the problems of our healthcare system.

The medical mafia:
  • Is a closed society.
    If you're not part of "our thing," they keep information away from you and act as if you can't understand anything.
    You're locked out of many things such as buying CPAP machines if you aren't a member of the club.
  • Has its tribal initiation ceremonies (Internships, med school abuses, etc.) to make you feel like a privileged member of "the family" who somehow stand above the outsiders. It desensitizes the "made men" from the general public.
  • Protects its own.
    They'll rarely act against one of their own who is incompetent or wrong.
  • Protects its turf against outsiders.
  • Uses "muscle" against outsiders. (Lawsuits, laws, regulations, etc.)
  • Generates extra income for their fellow MM members with extra procedures, tests, division of tasks, etc. i.e. featherbedding
  • Has a disregard for the best interests of the public and does what's best for its own clan.
  • Scams its victims with bogus charges, unnecessary tests, scam office visits, etc.
  • The stuff the pharmaceutical companies do would make a real Sicilian mafia don blush.
  • Makes payoffs to legislators and government officials.
  • etc.

Note: I'm not really a conspiracy theorist here. It's an "old boy network" kind of conspiracy, not an Illuminati kind of conspiracy with an actual hierarchical secret organization.

Unfortunately there's a worse crowd of criminals out there. These are the scam artists and true believers pushing quack medicine.
  • Faith Healers
  • Alternative medicine
  • Outright, self aware, for profit quacks
  • True believer quacks. Who usually end up making a lot of profit somehow. [wink, wink]
  • Homeopathy
  • Natural medicine quacks
  • Herbal medicine peddlers
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine

One thing that really irks me is that the scam artists are starting to use the term "Medical Mafia." There's even a popular book out there now using the MM term to push quack medicine treatments.

There's a lot of very severe problems with our medical system. There are a lot of booby traps to avoid. There are a lot of cases where you have to not accept the assembly line medicine process. There are a lot of outright wrong things like UPPP that you need to learn how to avoid. There are a lot of semi-quack doctors out there who pretend to be treating apnea, but just go through the motions and ring the cash register.

We need to warn the innocent victims about this, and this board is a good start.

However, the trick is how do we warn people about the Medical Mafia, but not get lumped in with the quacks and scam artists?

I think we're considerably different because we're advocating science based medicine, not unproven quackery. We're attacking the Medical Mafia because they are chasing the dollar and being lazy by not using the tools at their disposal. We're attacking them because they fail to use the readily available, inexpensive tools like fully data capable CPAP machines.

We need to distinguish ourselves from the CPAP skeptics who think "this sleep apnea and CPAP stuff is just another scam to generate revenue for the doctors." If anything, despite the fact that they try to screw the CPAPers every time they turn around, CPAP is not a very profitable racket vs. the other things where they try to get you on some ongoing drug regimen, using the newest and most expensive drugs, and frequent lab tests and office visits.


TL:DR

We're attacking the way our medical system works. However, we're not advocating quack medicine. We're advocating even more use of the technological, scientifically proven, evidence based medical tools out there.

It's very important to distinguish ourselves from the nutjobs out there who are pushing quack medicine and conspiracy theories.
Get the free SleepyHead software here.
Useful links.
Click here for information on the main alternative to CPAP.
If it's midnight and a DME tells you it's dark outside, go and check it yourself.
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#2
Preach on my brother/sister whatever. Shout it from the mountain tops. I enjoy seeing people that get it and take charge of their own treatment. The problem is not everyone has the desire or ability or can see the screwed up mess for what it is. Most people are smart enough if they try to learn all the different aspects of treatment. But many won't dig in and are stuck with whatever happens.
So I guess try to reach the group that is searching for answers. But I don't know how to reach the group standing in line?
I do thank you for the effort as you have to start somewhere, why not here.
Good Luck!

Doc J (despite my nickname I am not a doctor)

Remember to donate to the board if you can, it has helped a lot of people including myself.
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#3
It is a good thing you are not a cynic.

It is sad how accurate your post is.

It would be nice if we could convince the sleep medicine industry that data cable equipment should be the minimum standard for all. And patients interested in self monitoring should be encouraged and trained.
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#4
Good post, Arch. Well-done

(08-03-2014, 03:16 PM)archangle Wrote: It's very important to distinguish ourselves from the nutjobs out there who are pushing quack medicine and conspiracy theories.

What you are describing is an actual conspiracy (as I posted elsewhere in some thread somewhere around here). Therefore, you'll always get marginalized and stereotyped as a nutjob when you use terms like "Medical Mafia". But that is no reason so stop using that term - it's very, very accurate.

Besides, it makes the members of the Medical Mafia mad as heck, which I like. Too-funny

Coffee
SuperSleeper
Apnea Board Administrator
www.ApneaBoard.com


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#5
Nice writeup Arch,

But let's not get so militant in our beliefs that we allow the pendulum to swing from all the way one direction to all the way in the opposite direction. Somewhere there's a middle ground called common sense, reasoned judgement, and personal responsibility.

But fine article nonetheless.

I'd write more, but I have an appointment to get my Aura fluffed.

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#6
Drugs companies are powerful cartel, probably more than the illegal ones
As for us "the users", here you,re preaching to the choir
CPAP users, I meet face to face, don't know about data stuff and they don't want to know either, just happy to plod along and do what they have been told like herd of sheep baa baa baa
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#7
"...we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender." Sir Winston Churchill (to the Medical Mafia.)

Admin Note:
JustMongo passed away in August 2017
Click HERE to read his Memorial Thread

~ Rest in Peace ~
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#8
(08-03-2014, 08:00 PM)justMongo Wrote: "...we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender." Sir Winston Churchill (to the Medical Mafia.)
You're fighting a loosing battle Rolling laugh
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#9
I'm reminded of an old Wizard of Id cartoon. They've dragged some criminals into the courtroom. The prosecutor says, "we have found evidence of an extremely well organized conspiracy." The king asks "what kind of evidence?" A: "their time cards."

I think this is one of the "lesser" conspiracies so common in our modern world. There is no official organization, no timesheets, no official hierarchy of boss, underboss, consigliere, etc. It's a "good old boy" network. I feed business to other members of the clan, they feed business to me. I watch his back, he watches mine.

I know a doctor who testified in a trial against another doctor who was clearly at fault in a malpractice case. He said it very nearly ended his medical career. He was a "traitor." None of the other MM members were the least bit interested in whether the doctor involved was incompetent.


The idea of a tribal society with an initiation ceremony is also a good way to think about it. You brutalize someone as part of the ceremony. Symbolically they leave their old family and society and become part of the new clan. Those in the tribe are your friends, your family. Those outside the family are enemies or prey. You're expected to exploit the outsiders in order to benefit the tribe. There's no moral downside to harming outsiders.

Tribalism is a deep part of human society. There are many similar tribal associations in our society. Primitive tribes, nations, criminal gangs, groups of kids who pick on others, sports teams, police departments, governments, government agencies, craft guilds, corporations, bankers, lawyers, church organizations, etc.

Some of these tribes have formal organizations and formal nefarious management. Others just sort of work their way into it through feelings of brotherhood and a desire to protect your colleagues from the "outsiders" who don't understand your profession. Think of your stereotypical police department where there's no outright conspiracy, but they close ranks and protect their members when one of their number gets caught beating a suspect, shooting an innocent bystander, or committing perjury.

The degree of tribalism and evil tends to grow over time. Look at how truly evil the Catholic church became in the 15th and 16th century. The Inquisition flat out murdered innocent people. They burned people at the stake for owning bibles. The pope flat out sold "salvation" for a fee.

In common with other tribal societies, the medical profession practices a brutal initiation ceremony. Medical school is hell with a number of things that are designed to brutalize the student. Then you get into an internship and are abused, overworked, and often sleep deprived. It's classical tribal initiation rites. You brutalize and exhaust the candidate in the ceremony to deaden his thinking process. Then you welcome him into the inner circle and all is well. He's isolated from his old family and society and now he's invited to recover in the welcoming arms of his new family.
Get the free SleepyHead software here.
Useful links.
Click here for information on the main alternative to CPAP.
If it's midnight and a DME tells you it's dark outside, go and check it yourself.
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#10
Archangle, Your musings and interpretations are all in accord with my way of thinking but I suppose it's due to my advanced age. We do tend to put people into categories and events into time segments as we get older. Young people don't do that so much and I suppose that's a good thing since they will enjoy the moment more if they aren't as cynical as us older dudes.

I have always felt that the two most dangerous "tribes" are the "Medical Tribe" and the "Apathy Tribe". The former holds the greatest legal power of life & death over us while the latter lets them. I'm well entrenched in the latter but wish I didn't have so much company. Wink

All the best, surferdude2 Sleep-well
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