a micro article
Doctors lack the skills and knowledge to treat most common aches, pains and injury problem, especially stubborn cases, and are poor substitutes for physical therapists. Many doctors are well aware of this, but some are alarmingly oblivious. Dr. Jonathon Tomlinson, an instructor at St. Leonards Hospital in Hoxton, explains that “undergraduate training is focused on hospital orthopedics (broken bones and anything else that’s amenable to surgery) or rheumatology (nasty inflammatory diseases) which comprise a minority of the aches/pains/strains and injuries that people actually suffer from.”
Medical researchers have done many studies showing that most doctors do not understand aches and pains or heed expert recommendations. A good recent example is a paper in the Archives of Internal Medicine showing that family doctors frequently ignore guidelines for the care of low back pain — see Williams et al.
More generally, the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, and the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, have both published papers recently showing that physicians simply do not have an adequate understanding of musculoskeletal medicine. In 2002, Freedman et al felt that “It is ... reasonable to conclude that medical school preparation in musculoskeletal medicine is inadequate.” Then again in 2005 in JBJS, Matzkin et al concluded that “training in musculoskeletal medicine is inadequate in both medical school and non-orthopaedic residency training programs.” Most recently, in 2006, Stockard et al found that 82% of medical graduates “failed to demonstrate basic competency in musculoskeletal medicine.”
Micro articles are short summaries, under 300 words, of well-defined topics or key points that tend to come up when discussing pain and therapy science. They can stand on their own, but they are also often included dynamically in articles all over SaveYourself.ca. So, for instance, you might see this one somewhere in the main text of a larger article, or in a footnote. There aren’t many of these for now, but in time I hope to have about a hundred of these little article “snacks.” Here’s what’s available so far…