I Believe in Medicine

By Pamela Bond

This I Believe, National Public Radio

March 11, 2010

I believe in medicine. It’s come a long way and I have every reason to believe it will go even further. Will we find a cure for cancer? AIDS? For this, I don’t have the answers, but I know that there are some very dedicated people working to find out.

I believe that medicine has made our lives better and longer. I believe that doctors should be given all available resources to help their patients, even if this means working across borders. I believe that geneticists and researchers deserve more funding. They are the ones helping to save lives and should be rewarded with the type of funding we dedicate to entertainers and sports professionals.

I do not believe medicine holds all the answers. I know from experience that not every ailment gets diagnosed. Behind medicine, there is a science. But behind science there are people, and people can make mistakes. I don’t believe patients should be prescribed the pharmaceutical with the biggest advertising budget. Pharmaceuticals shouldn’t even need to advertise. They should let doctors do their jobs. I don’t believe doctors should be on the payroll of pharmaceutical companies, either. Once again, they should be prescribing the drugs that work best for the patient, not the ones they are getting money from. This is unethical.

I believe health insurance should be affordable and available to all. I believe that those with pre-existing conditions should not be among the least insured. Instead of creating a new program, the government should expand Medicare and Medicaid to fill in the gaps between those poor enough to qualify for the program and those who make just enough money to be ineligible for it but not enough money to afford health insurance on their own. The government should not run our healthcare system. If we want to keep the most advanced healthcare in the world, we cannot let this happen.

I believe medicine saves lives. It saved mine, many times. When a brown recluse spider bit me, I may have lost a chunk of my leg but I lived, thanks to medicine. When a Staph infection developed at the site of the bite, modern medicine made sure that I lived. It may have taken a year to diagnose my autoimmune disease, but doctors were finally able to pinpoint it. When doctors suspected a tumor, they were able to investigate it. Today I am functioning just fine.

And medicine is part of my daily life now. The pharmaceuticals I am taking have worked nothing short of a miracle. I know that not every story has a happy ending like mine, but that’s the thing about faith. You have to believe.

CLICK HERE for a link to this story