Credit goes to Scott Adams for the loserthink and 'systems vs goals' concepts; see Loserthink: How Untrained Brains Are Ruining America and How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life. What Adams fails to recognize is that highly-trained brains are also ruining America, though it is because of willful lack of training in the most relevant area of all—nutrition.
The modern medical establishment* has been spectacularly successful in saving lives when it comes to classic infectious and one-off medical problems. Antibiotics, anesthetics and surgery, repairing broken bones and replacing joints, drastically reducing death in giving childbirth, vaccinations, and many more wonderful things for which all of us should be grateful, but luckily we can instead just take for granted.
With such spectacular 'childhood' success of the medical profession, it now remains in a pubescent state, neither child nor adult:
Modern medicine has failed to mature from knowledge to wisdom, maniacally focusing on one-symptom/one-diagnosis/one-drug instead of a holistic systems approach of fortifying the health of the entire organism (patient). Research and training an patient re care are all oriented that way!
Modern medicine sees any medical issue as an axiomatic primary, as if it were divorced from the health of the organism as a whole**.
One symptom, one diagnosis, one drug... job done.
This approach is needlessly degrading and killing millions of people and has been doing so for many decades. The total health and vitality that results from strong nutrition is all but ignored by the modern medical establishment.
Treat with drugs, ignore nutrition. Send to the next specialist for the next N problems.
Diagnosis and treatment remains a sad bad you’ve-been-had art form to this day: a limited number of dogmatic tests mainly to rule out obvious issues. But you don’t find what you are not looking for!
Or... is it more like willful and arrogant blindness with a big dose of laziness and cowardice and Hyper Needing to be Right in spite of contrary evidence?
Simple examples of outright medical incompetence before getting out the prescription pad are failure to test for magnesium deficiency (and if tested which is rare, the wrong and highly misleading serum magnesium test****) and Vitamin K2 (I’ve never seen a test for it) and Vitamin D. Yet those things might be the two most important indicators of baseline nutrition, being essential to a huge number of biological functions—and it is known that the vast majority or deficient or highly deficient in them!
Treatment guidelines today are groupthink loserthink based on applying epidemiological averages to specific individuals and frequently all about political and financial influence***. Testing games of 20 questions, and the answer is still elusive 20 questions later. The financial costs aside, millions of incorrect diagnoses are made and ~1/4 million deaths per year result from medical errors. And that’s not even counting the injuries from side effects by unwarranted pharmacological treatment, and the resulting physical and psychological harm and loss of vitality. That surely numbers in the millions, if not tens of millions just here in the USA. It is shameful and basically snake oil masquerading as science.
For the unhealthy person with one or more nutritional deficiencies, issues sprout up like mushrooms, and there is a specialist for each! There may be 3 or five or 13 issues to deal with, one by one, half-guessing all the way, piling on cost and danger with pharmacological treatment, which often worsens the underlying nutritional deficiency, which is the root cause. We have here 3 or 5 or 10 doctors, all trying to explain the 'elephant' by examining toenails or tip of the snout or anus, none seeing the whole, and all with cognitive commitments to ignoring what the beast is eating.
* Doctors, medical schools and their faculty, BigPharma, insurance industry, etc.
** Thus to address arteriolosclerosis (almost certainly an inflammatory process caused in good measure by poor diet), modern medicine gives statins (a poison) to degrade one of the most important building blocks in the body (cholesterol), because that’s where the money and status and corrupt guidelines are, causal-science and side effects and root cause and nutrition and total health be damned. It’s like injecting a plant with arsenic-laden water instead of giving it good soil and regular watering.
*** Right now as I write this, I am more fit than 99.99% of the population and yet I am borderline obese according to the know-nothing jackasses that designed BMI, who push it as a valid medical tool, and who never bothered to think about muscle mass or bone density. Yet BMI and similar epidemiological intellectual frauds are the basis for large portions of modern medical treatment and for things life life insurance, statistical measures being applied to individuals, which is intellectual and medical malpractice.
**** One can have high serum magnesium with a dangerous deficiency of ionized magnesium (which is a true indicator of magnesium levels in the body). The serum magnesium test is worse than junk science, it is total medical ignorance and incompetence, which can cause enormous harm to patients.
Loserthink mindset: goals instead of systems
Instead of going back to the basics and asking why the organism (patient) has so many problems (which likely stem from poor organism health overall), modern medicine tackles one issue at a time with different doctors. Rather than a system of optimal nutrition so that all bodily systems can function as designed, because all systems are getting all the nutrients needed and not being overwhelmed by unnatural and toxic inputs.
Most short and long-term health problems are all manifestations of past or present nutritional problems (which environmental and other factors exacerbate, a weak organism cannot repair and maintain itself properly). I would bet that 90% of cancers stem from nutritional problems. Ditto for heart disease, diabetes, obesity, mental illness, etc.
In this context, the systems approach should be an unrelenting focus on understanding and eliminating nutritional deficiencies and excesses, especially in light of the modern food supply. From that, fundamentally good health of the organism follows, with whole packs of dogs that don’t bark.
Thing is, the medical establishment* is intellectually and ethically bankrupt when it comes to nutrition, and that has been true for many decades. It is a cesspool of politics, financial corruption, outright ignorance, cognitive bias and rationalizations with little objective science. And there is no financial incentive to fix it. Who the hell cares about magnesium or Vitamin K2 deficiency or 100 other similar things when there is no money for research and no patents to be granted leading to billions in profit? What self-aggrandizing “expert” wants to study the basics when fame and fortune await designing an awesome poison, like a statin?
As if any organism can continually ingest garbage and poison and remain in good health.
Which brings me back to systems...
In terms of fixing specific one-off straightforward issues, the medical system is fantastic: get in a car crash and highly skilled professionals can do a lot for you. Ditto for many other issues.
But in terms of a system that maximizes health and vitality, the system is broken and incompetent, offering deadly advice on nutrition and largely ignoring critical basics. The sickening off the American public with raging epidemics of obesity, heart disease, mental illness and hundreds of other problems is proof positive of that. Average lifespan has been extended by addressing the classic killers, but overall wellness and vitality is a shitstorm.
Only by changing the system can things get better.
This means research on basic nutrition—causal not the bullshit epidemiological stuff, it means getting the government and BigAg and BigPharma out of the picture (structurally and legally), it means changes to insurance practices, it means a total restructuring of health care to maximize baseline health.
And it means unfucking medical schools, which scarcely bother with nutritional science. And if they did, it would probably be worse, because understanding of nutrition today is worse then ever. Oh, good understanding exists, but it is scattered about in bits and pieces and drowned-out by embedded interests of all sorts.
Maybe it’s impossible? Maybe as a system, but we as patients or doctors or both can make a difference in our spheres of influence—go to it!