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Lecture 26

HLTH 102 Lecture Notes - Lecture 26: Medicine, Generic Brand, Watchful Waiting

Health Studies
Course Code
HLTH 102
Jennifer Tomasone

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Readings: Chp. 19: Conventional Medicine and Complementary Medicine (pp. 575-591)
Self care
Professional care
Conventional medicine
Self Care
-Be a good observer of your open symptoms, decide whether to seek professional advice, and when to
safely deal with the problem on your own, and develop a partnership with physicians and other health
care providers to carry out treatment plans
Self Assessment
-When symptoms begin, how often and when it occurs, what makes it worse, what makes it better, and
note for any associated symptoms
-can monitor body vital signs: temperature and heart rate
Knowing when to see a physician
-When condition is severe, unusual, persistent, recurrent
-Can be a combination of symptoms that leads you to seeking a practitioner
-Ex include: uncontrolled bleeding, severe shortness of breath, loss of consciousness etc.
1) Watchful waiting: body can relieve the symptoms in due time
2) Nondrug Options: adequate rest, increasing exercise, drinking more water, eating more or less of
certain foods, using humidifiers, ergonomic changes Ex: stress management
3) Self-medication: always read the label and follow directions carefully, do not exceed the
recommended dosage of length of treatment unless you discuss this change with your physician,
be caution if taking other medication or supplements, select medications with one active
ingredient rather than a combination of products, generic drugs, don’t take unlabelled drugs, don’t
self-medicate if you are pregnant, be cautious of the labelled expiration date, store medication in
cool, dry places- shower and baths create heat and humidity that can cause some drugs to
deteriorate rapidly..., have special cautions for Aspirin or acetylsalicylic acid- not be used by
children who have the flu, chickenpox, or other viral illness- some are coated with acid
resistance= Aspirin is absorbed in the colon rather than the stomach (Reye's syndrome)
*Notes: generic brand may be the same as brand-name drugs in terms of quality, purity, effectiveness
and safety- because they have to meet the same Health Canada standard as their brand counterparts :)
-Keep in mind that some ingredients in Over the counter drugs may be ineffective
Professional Care
-Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM): Therapies or practices that are not part of
conventional or mainstream health care and medical practice as taught in most Canadian medical schools
and available at most Canadian health care facilities, Ex: acupuncture and herbal remedies - can be taken
to boost their immune system, lower cholesterol levels, losing weight, quitting smoking etc as well as
those with chronic diseases
-Many Canadians now take natural health products Ex: vitamins, minerals, herbal remedies, homeopathic
medicines (must not require prescription to be sold over the counter)

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-Evidence- based practice: The practice of health care in which the practitioner systematically finds,
appraises, and used the most current and valid research findings as the basis for health-related
decisions, the term is sometimes used to denote the evidence-based medicine specifically but not also
include other specialities, such as evidence-based nursing, pharmacy and dentistry
-Conventional medicine: A system of medicine based on the application of scientific method: diseases are
thought to be caused by identifiable physical factors and characterized by a representative set of
symptoms: also called biomedicine or standard Western medicine
Conventional medicine
Premises and assumptions of conventional medicine
-Disease is caused by identifiable physical factors
-Causes of diseases are pathogens, genetic factors, and unhealthy lifestyles = changes at the molecular
and cellular level - mostly on physical rather than the spiritual or mental imbalance that causes diseases
-Every disease is defined by a certain set of symptoms and that these symptoms are similar in most
patients suffering from this disease
-destroy pathogens via public health measures as well as drugs and surgery
-Infoway= nonprofit organization that will collaborate with provincial and territorial ministries of health
to accelerate the use of electronic health records
-Uses scientific explanations
1) Empirical
2) Rational
3) Testable
4) Parsimonious
5) General
6) Rigorously evaluated
7) Tentative
The providers of conventional medicine
-Government has developed a healthcare system that is 1) Universally available 2) comprehensive in the
services it covers 3) accessible with income barriers 4) portable within and outside the country, 5)
publicly administered
-pharmaceuticals: medical drugs, both prescription and over the counter
-Medical doctor: An independent practitioner who holds a doctor of medicine degree from an accredited
medical school
-doctor of osteopathic medicine: a medical practitioner who has graduated from a medical school in
Canada or an osteopathic medical school in the US= osteopathy incorporates the theories and practices
of scientific medicine but focuses on musculoskeletal problems and manipulative therapy
-podiatrist: a practitioner who holds a doctor of podiatric medicine degree and specializes in the medical
and surgical care of feet
-optometrist: a practitioner who holds a doctor of optometry degree and is trained to examine eyes,
detect eye diseases and prescribe corrective lenses
-dentist: a practitioner who holds a doctor of medical dentistry degree and who specializes in the
prevention and treatment of diseases and injuries of the teeth, mouth, and jaws

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-allied health care providers: health care professionals who typically provide services under the
supervision or control of independent practitioners
Choosing a primary practitioner
-Someone who makes a personal connection with you
-must recommend preventative care for all ages of men and women= screening and immunization
Getting the most out of your medical care
-The physician-patient partnership: physician is not all knowing, but rather is acting as a consultant the
patient participates more actively = attentive, caring, and able to listen and clearly explain things to you -
but patient must also be assertive to express feelings, and concerns
-Your appointment with your physician
-The diagnostic process: medical history, physical exam, diagnostic testing,
-Endoscopy: A medical procedure in which a viewing instrument is inserted into a body cavity or
-False positive: A test result that incorrectly detects a disease or condition in a healthy person
-False negative: A test result that fails to correctly detect a disease or condition
-Medical and surgical treatments:
1. Prescription medication: could result in medication error, off-label drug use, online pharmacies,
2. Web and internet health information: must question Ex: who runs this site, how current is the
information (Similar to CRAAP Test)
3. Surgery: outpatient= a person receiving medical attention without being admitted to the hospital
Lecture 10.2: Conventional Health Care: Wednesday, March 16
Why care about health care? Evidence-based practice/medicine
Conventional medicine: Definition, vs. complementary and alternative medicine
Conventional health care Canada: Structure, Levels, Cost
Why care about health care?
-You are a health care:
Funder (How much money we spend each year)
Manager: Self-care (capacity to buy our own drugs, being aware of symptoms)
Advocate: Make healthy lifestyle choices, find and interpret health information, locate proper
health services, know when to self-medicate (when it is okay to buy cough syrup) or seek professional
help, make evidence-based decisions, “health literacy”= you have the skills to access, understand, and
use of health information (where to go for health care)
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