In Defense of Doctors

If youíve been following my blog series about Pink Medicine, youíll see that Iíve been kind of harsh to the†doctors of the Old Medicine. Iíve put out a†global apology on behalf of physicians everywhere. Iíve ranted about†doctors who get annoyed with empowered, educated patients. And Iíve suggested that†patients have the power to heal themselves.

So if youíre a doctor, you might be feeling a little raw right now and think I donít love you. (If you feel this way, read my†Love Letter To Doctors and†Iím Sorry, Wounded Healers and youíll feel better, I swear!)

It may seem like Iím lashing out at the system, and that may be true in some ways, but I feel like itís important to acknowledge what I love and appreciate about medicine.† As†I wrote here, Iíve had an on-again-off-again love affair with medicine, and Iíve only recently made peace with the conflict I feel.

But before I keep writing about Pink Medicine and how I believe we can heal ourselves, let me speak just for a moment in defense of the profession Iíve been immersed in for the past 16 years.† Iím not in any way suggesting that Western medicine doesnít ROCK. It does. The technological advances of the past 100 years have changed everything, and for the first time in history, we can truly alter the course of a personís life. We can avert death, extend lives, and alleviate suffering.

The advent of antibiotics, chemotherapy drugs, transplant surgeries, MRIís, and any number of other medical advances have revolutionized how we think about illness. We can keep preemie infants alive and repair diseased hearts.† We can cure cancers and replace worn out joints. We can implant test tube babies into infertile women and rescue dying fetuses.

What we can do with the tools in our physician toolboxes is nothing short of miraculous.

As a doctor, I am infinitely grateful for my education, and I bow with great respect to the teachers who have trained me. As a patient, I am infinitely grateful for the medical advances that have granted me my health.

Iím in no way suggesting that Western medicine isnít a key ingredient in the healing process. In fact, I think there should be a doctor at every healing round table.

What I am suggesting is that we docs get off our high horses, expand our minds, educate ourselves, and open our hearts to all the other healing modalities that are changing lives, healing bodies, mending hearts, calming minds, and liberating spirits. I am suggesting that we listen to our patients, recognize the power they have to heal themselves, and approach them as equals, honoring the great healing gifts they hold.

Where Is The Love?

Most importantly, Iím suggesting that we reclaim the love. Pink Medicine is really the medicine of ancient times – mixed with the advances of modern technology. A hundred years ago, love – and a stethoscope – is pretty much all we had. We didnít have complicated laboratory tests, chemotherapy, CT scanners, antibiotics, and open heart surgeries. When someone got sick, the doctor would show up, sit at the bedside, make efforts to alleviate suffering, nurture the family, prescribe herbs, and offer love.

Now, weíve shifted 180 degrees. We now have many tools that offer great benefit to our patients, but weíre on the verge of losing what matters most. The greatest healing power in the world is love. Plain and simple. We need to circle back another 180 degrees, so that weíve come full circle, where we can reclaim the old and marry it with the new.

Therein lies the magic we have yet to fully embrace.

Let’s Marry The Two

In Pink Medicine, Iím suggesting that we marry the best of ancient medicine traditions like shamanism, herbal healers, and physicians of times past with the best of modern medicine. If you shake that all up in a test tube with Pop Rocks and sprinkle it with loads of love and cold hard science, you wind up with Pink Medicine, which can facilitate miracles.

Are You Ready For Your Miracle?

Make sure to†become a Pink Medicine Revolutionary so we can keep in touch about Pink Medicine and the ways you can help The Movement!

Tell me what you think of all this? Iíd love to hear your thoughts.

Marrying the two,


Lissa Rankin, MD: Founder of†,†Pink Medicine Revolutionary,†motivational speaker, and author of†Whatís Up Down There? Questions Youíd Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend and Encaustic Art: The Complete Guide To Creating Fine Art With Wax.

Learn more about†Lissa Rankin here.



Jo S.
Jo S2 years ago

Thank you Lissa.

Joe R.
Joe R5 years ago

Pop Rocks? Do they still sell them? Haven't seen them since the '70s.

Yenlynn Chang
yenlynn Chang6 years ago

Dear Doc. Lissa,

I love the idea of matching the two - modern and old ones.
1. Could I post this article on my blog?? Could I translate it into Chinese on my blog??
2. I have a big chunk (or a lump size 14x14x8cm) in my ovary. I have visited 4 docs - western method through MRI and Ultra sonic diagnosis. These docs have the same answer to me: to take all the organs away to avoid any possibility of caner cell although the cancer index is 36, and the 4/5 is water or liquid inside the lump, the real stuff is about 5 cm. Two of other traditional medicine doc suggest me to take traditiolnal way to treat. That is to change my current life style, watch out what I have taken in daily, keep exercise and regular rest. I agree the modern technolog applied in the western medicine, but I don't trust them because of too many weird treatment done by some docs nowadays.

3. Recently I have visited my doc to talk about Steve's (the great Apple boss) death due to a cancer - Pancreas? Many criticize that Steve died because he had not accepted western method - take an operation and cut the bad part to save his life. They also condemn the old traditional medicine, such as Nature ways through food, mind and so on. My doc argued who can guarantee that Steve can live longer if he took the western method.

Christa Leduc
Christa Leduc6 years ago

I rely on alternative medicine and stay away form allopathic medicine. Doctors treat only the symptoms and not the whole person (body, mind and spirit) Prescription drugs are full of dangerous side effects that are worse than what ails you. Your body has the power to heal itself through nutrition, a positive mind and exercise.

Bryan S.
Bryan S6 years ago

Great article. Modern medicine can do very complex life-saving things, yet for thousands of years healers in other traditions have been doing things that modern medicine can't accomplish. Many modern drugs are very dangerous also.

Carla, you are simply wrong about traditional healers offering false hope. Millions of people, including myself, can attest to the effectiveness of what are considered alternative healing methods.

Carla Maclean
Carla Phillips6 years ago

Hey Lissa, I've just had your reply but can't answer you personally so I'll reply on here if that's ok. Thank you for your reply - I'm not offended at all, I love an intelligent discourse.
I think what I found most discomfiting about your article was the use of words like 'shamanism'. In ancient times people were no different, you had to pay the shaman before any 'treatment' would begin - no coin, no cure.
The system we have now is by no means perfect, but it is better than anything we had in the past and the people who attempt to heal by other methods (shamanism, herbs, chiropractic, acupuncture or whatever) are just as guilty of money grubbing and using the smarm of the salesman as some doctors, but these people are worse, because they offer false hope to the despairing when at least modern medicine is our best shot.

Carla Maclean
Carla Phillips6 years ago

Modern medicine has saved my life on numerous occasions. Yes, there are flaws in the system, but I think your point about Doctors of 100 years ago having nothing but a stethoscope and love is misleading. Docs 100 years ago had an imperious attitude and a yawning coin purse. You weren't treated if you couldn't pay (something in the UK we don't have to worry about) there was no love there, it was purely a business transaction. Yes- of course- there were some compassionate healers, but docs today in general have a much better attitude than those of former times. Most docs I know are compassionate, warm, caring individuals who care deeply for their patients. I don't think there is any room for shamanistic nonsense or any 'ancient wisdom' in modern medicine, even though there are a few problems with the health system we have now, I wouldn't change it for anything we had in the past.

Penny C.
penny C6 years ago

Im very lucky I have good doctors now.

Caitlin Fowler
Caitlin F6 years ago

thanks agreed.

Ellie Damann
.6 years ago