What is the difference between most cardiologists and a complete cardiologist? Most Cardiology training programs involve extensive time within the coronary care and ICU units addressing cardiovascular symptoms and problems once they have surfaced. Usually symptoms of Cardiovascular Disease are manifested when 80% or greater of the body vasculature is already compromised. Eighteen years ago I wondered where I stood on this spectrum and turned myself to advanced lipid testing, which I was already utilizing with my patients. Lo and behold I discovered I was similar to them. I then wondered if my recently discovered secondary prevention concepts would work for me as primary prevention and applied them. I did not want for myself any part of what I was seeing with my patients. It was at that time that I became a complete cardiologist and I then proceeded to try to identify others at risk years before may would become symptomatic.
Being a complete cardiologist means preventing arresting or stabilizing cardiovascular disease progression years before it is allowed to take a stronghold and manifest symptoms. Unfortunately despite statements to the contrary our statistics really expose the truth about our failure which in my opinion is secondary to the failure of our physician’s training institutions especially cardiologists.
Equally obstructive are the variety of guidelines of great disparity, published by various National and International associations. which are at odds with the real world of medicine and only serve the financial needs of corporations involved in medicine. A complete cardiologist circumvents all these obstacles and prescribes an effective affordable plan for cardiovascular disease prevention in keeping with the whole families financial needs rather than allowing one compromised family member to siphon resources from other family members.
Unfortunately with the medical insurance industry, it is much more profitable to withhold any treatment before symptoms appear (i.e. how the greatest profit from the premiums is realized) The Insurance companies are well aware that many clients over the years will change to different competing medical insurance programs based upon the availability and rising costs and it is not profit-effective to prevent CVD disease in individuals, most of whom will end up leaving them.
Once symptoms appear, the medical vendors have a picnic followed by a picnic for the pharmaceuticals companies with their multiple medications, a fraction of which should have been used to prevent cardiovascular disease prevention. It is simply not profitable for the Insurance companies to do primary prevention years before although it appears they espouse this concept, but in reality are only paying lip service.
If a patient is to become involved in primary prevention of cardiovascular disease they must bear the costs, not the insurance company, and reap the benefits although they may have difficulty in determining to take the plunge or if they will or will not benefit. Either way even if no event is experienced, one’s longevity and quality of life will be extended as atherosclerosis is impeded.
Other factors that are limiting effective primary cardiovascular disease prevention is the disparity in training of physicians. Most physicians sell to their patients what they know or what the pharmaceutical companies medical vendors hospitals, Insurance companies drug plans, all of whom have control of the medical literature.
Today the overwhelming new therapeutic options i.e. vast number of new outrageously expensive medications with supposedly statistically significant beneficial effect and most only with a minimal 1-2% absolute risk reduction benefit in which 100% of patients are recommended for the treatment is being huckstered at an outrageous cost which gouges into each family’s budget leaving little available for future education etc.. All this is is a long way from the Capitalism of reasonable profit upon which I was raised.