Complacency occurs when a standard of practice in any field goes unchanged or unchecked for too long. The medical profession is no exception to this type of thing. This mentality happens because over the years, a given set of practices, treatments, and or medications have shown some level of success. Understandably, in the world of migraine, any success is helpful to a patient. Unfortunately, the result of those successes ends up being ‘if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.’ Once we arrive at that thought, we become complacent and stop striving to move forward in search of better results.
Military mentality: always room to improve
In the military, the doctrine is quite the opposite. They are constantly trying to find ways to improve the current technique and strategy, even when a proven strategy already exists. The military believes there is always room to improve and evolve their tactics. The phrase you often hear in that environment ends up being ‘if it isn’t broke, then break it.’ The ideology is that even if this strategy currently works, what can we do to make it work better?
The evidence to back up the benefit of the military’s strategy can be found in the statistics of previous wars and conflicts dating back from the first World War all the way up to the current “War on Terror,” if one chooses to look them up. The continual development of technologies and strategies over the decades has led to lower and lower mortality rates.
I do not bring up the military view point lightly. I am fully aware that as a country, we are divided with regard to people who feel we are doing the right thing versus those who do not stand with our military. I only mention this military view point because I believe the medical community could stand to benefit from such an overall shift in perspective. I believe both doctors and patients would benefit from one simple change in their respective thinking.
One treatment plan does not fit all
If as a whole, doctors, patients and caregivers could reach the place where we can all accept and acknowledge that there are standard practices and medications that have had success thus far in some patients. So perhaps now we should focus on adapting or evolving our methodologies to find ways to treat those who still suffer and are not helped by the current medications and practices. Neither side has to give up on anything that they believe is effective, but both sides would need to acknowledge that changes and new discoveries will both take time and just as existing treatments, new developments may only help some people, likely not everyone with chronic migraine.
This especially challenges those doctors who believe in one major treatment plan as a cure all for chronic migraine. They would have to accept that the one treatment plan does not always work for everyone. They would need to accept that this result does not mean that they should not continue to develop their skills as a medical professional.
When was your last migraine check-up?