Noca, you must live in a perfect world.
I have seen regular internists and Gyn doctors offer Synthroid without a thorough endocrine workup. (I was offered Synthroid for fatigue, without any kind of workup.) I have seen internists foolishly prescribe antidepressants in high doses to people who don't need them and become seriously ill from them. I have seen medical doctors FAKE information in charts, say they did tests and exams they did not do, and not read over relevant information because they're too busy. I have seen them bill for procedures and services they did not do. I have seen medical assistants write down fake blood pressure results because they never learned how to correctly take a BP reading. (This applies to other tests they do too.)
Anyone who works in medicine knows that medical records are full of errors because many doctors are not understood (for many reasons) by transcriptionists who just do the best they can to write "something" down - this is then reviewed by a supervisor who might make a change they think is appropriate (and it might be wrong) - sometimes these people cannot even spell the names of the diseases or drugs they are transcribing.
In the office, things are automated now, so clerks can just pick whatever drug shows up on screen (sort of like autocorrect on smartphones - and we all know how accurate that is). I've been to doctor's offices where someone has told me I was allergic to a drug I never took - because the drug I WAS allergic to didn't show up on the automatic list and the medical assistant didn't ask me to spell it, she just picked the wrong one; I also had an ER nurse write down the wrong drug allergy, not the one I stated - I tried to have someone correct it FIVE times, but nobody would. It's a serious, potentially life-threatening error. Now it's in my medical records permanently, and I can't have it taken out -- all I can do is write a letter requesting that they amend it, and hope any doctor accessing my records in an emergency reads everything. Yeah… in my dreams!
In fact, I know of a case where an arrogant physician ignored the patient's advocate about drug allergies -- in this case, it was my very ill father who was given a certain drug -- even though my mother, an RN, stood by his bed and told the doctor NOT to give this drug to him, the "doctor" stuck "something" in his IV (which turned out to be the drug he was allergic to), and then left the room. My father went into anaphylactic shock, and, had my mother not been an RN and known what to do, he would have died. So the last sentence of your post is not entirely accurate, Noca; with all due respect, you seem a little idealistic about medicine.
If anybody puts "complete" faith in the medical profession or the pharmaceutical companies these days, they are asking for trouble. Maybe it's different in Canada?
And, if you overdose (a relatively small amount on Ambien, for example) you will just sleep for a while and wake up. If you overdose a little on Synthroid it can affect your heart. (And this is with the understanding that ANY drug use comes with a risk to organ damage depending on the person's chemistry.)
Well, I know, let's ask Cher…. Cher, did your doctor do a thorough workup before prescribing Synthroid? Did he specifically discuss the following precautions with you, which are taken from the Synthroid (levothyroxine) website:
"What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking levothyroxine,
tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are ALLERGIC TO LEVOTHYROXINE, THYROID HORMONE, ANY OTHER DRUGS, POVIDONE IODINE, TARTRAZINE (A YELLOW DYE IN SOME PROCESSED FOODS AND DRUGS), OR FOODS SUCH AS LACTOSE OR CORN STARCH. Levothroid contains lactose, while Synthroid contains tartrazine and povidone.
tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, ESPECIALLY AMPHETAMINES; ANTICOAGULANTS ('BLOOD THINNERS') SUCH AS WARFARIN (COUMADIN); ANTIDEPRESSANTS OR ANTI-ANXIETY AGENTS; ARTHRITIS MEDICINE; ASPIRIN; BETA-BLOCKERS SUCH AS METOPROLOL (LOPRESSOR, TOPROL), PROPRANOLOL (INDERAL) OR TIMOLOL (BLOCADREN, TIMOPTIC); CANCER CHEMOTHERAPY AGENTS; DIABETES MEDICATIONS (INSULIN AND TABLETS); DIGOXIN (LANOXIN); ESTROGENS; METHADONE; ORAL CONTRACEPTIVES; PHENYTOIN (DILANTIN); STEROIDS; THEOPHYLLINE (THEODUR); AND VITAMINS.
if you take an antacid, calcium carbonate (Tums), cholestyramine (Questran), colestipol (Colestid), iron, orlistat (alli, Xenical), simethicone (Phazyme, Gas X), sodium polystrene sulfonate (Kayexalate), or sucralfate (Carafate), take it at least 4 hours before or 4 hours after you take levothyroxine.
tell your doctor IF YOU HAVE OR HAVE EVER HAD DIABETES; HARDENING OF THE ARTERIES (ATHEROSCLEROSIS); KIDNEY DISEASE; HEPATITIS; CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE SUCH AS HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE, CHEST PAIN (ANGINA), ARRHYTHMIAS, OR HEART ATTACK; OR AN UNDERACTIVE ADRENAL OR PITUITARY GLAND.
TELL YOUR DOCTOR IF YOU ARE PREGNANT, PLAN TO BECOME PREGNANT OR ARE BREAST-FEEDING. IF YOU BECOME PREGNANT WHILE TAKING LEVOTHYROXINE, CALL YOUR DOCTOR.
if you have SURGERY, INCLUDING DENTAL SURGERY, tell the doctor or dentist that you are taking levothyroxine."
Notice how carefully things are worded. It's ON YOU, the patient to "TELL YOUR DOCTOR," which means YOU better do all the research, print out the material and have it in your hand to go down each question with your doctor -- because in most cases your doctor is to busy to bother. How does an average person without sophisticated medical knowledge KNOW to ask these questions up front??? Thanks to HMOs and the corporate business model, medicine is no longer about healing the patient, it's about making a profit. That means TIME is MONEY. That means, in many cases, you walk in, state your symptom, get a quick once-over, and leave with a prescription.
If you want to be the best medical professional you can be, become aware of what really goes on behind the scenes, and do what you can to alleviate the problems.