DOCTOR IS NOT SPELLED GOD

quotescover-JPG-18We take it for granted when a doctor tells us anything, the words are written in “stone.” As a doctor with over 20 years of experience, the truth is we make mistakes. A good doctor uses every source available (when indicated) in diagnosing and recommending any treatment plan. They are open minded and good listeners to their patients. They work with their patients to help them achieve the quality of health they desire. A good doctor recognizes his or her limitations and assists their patients in coordinated care (with other doctors or health care professionals) when necessary to maximize results. Egos and insecurities are left outside the facility they work at.

The patient also has responsibilities in this relationship. They need to be honest and realistic. They need to ask questions if they are unclear about their condition. Every patient should be able to leave their doctor’s office knowing their SPECIFIC DIAGNOSIS BY NAME and recommended treatment plan. We pay a fee to our doctors for this information, yet most walk away with a prescription and no idea what their diagnosis is. The belief is it doesn’t matter what’s wrong. The belief is the doctor will fix whatever it is with a prescription. Without knowing what’s wrong and typically what’s been prescribed, patients are still willing to “pop a pill” at a certain frequency for a certain amount of time without a second thought. The belief is, once the pill gets rid of the symptom, the problem has resolved. This type of thinking leads to chronic illnesses and degeneration. We place our health entirely in the hands of the doctors out of self convenience and a false belief that they are ALWAYS RIGHT. This is a huge mistake. It is NOT the doctor’s job to make the patient well; it is the doctor’s job to ASSIST the patient in making themselves well.

Health is not some abstract concept found in the depths of the 4th dimension. Health is found within the body. The one task we do on a daily basis that strengthens (or weakens) our bodies more than any other activity is eating. Most of us are nutrient deficient, not prescription deficient! By providing the tools the body needs we function at our individual optimal levels. When pharmaceutical agents are introduced to the body, they artificially create changes attempting to stabilize some type of imbalance. In acute situations and emergencies this type of treatment may be needed to prevent dangerous life threatening outcomes. For most of the ongoing chronic health conditions, this form of treatment has been ineffective at reversing and “curing” these conditions.

So why do people continue to “pop the pill” and accept this ineffective answer to many health problems? The answer is simple. “The doctor told me I need to.” Accepting this answer without further explanation creates a false belief that:

  1. the doctor is always right

  2. this is the ONLY method that can address this health issue

  3. I must accept no personal responsibility for my health because the doctor is responsible for my health.

My patients knew when they left my office they had homework. They had lifestyle changes that had to be implemented to achieve the level of health they wanted. They knew that follow up office visits would include dialogue about the successes and failures of these assignments. As long as the patient took responsibility by working diligently on improving their health by working on implementing the changes recommended I would continue to tailor the program to fit the individuals’ needs to maximize outcomes. We worked as a team. This is a very different approach than dictating, “I am the doctor and you will follow my prescription.”

The next time you’re scheduled to see your doctor, ask yourself the following questions?

  1. How long have I been a patient with my current physician?

  2. Am I a healthy weight?

  3. Do I have any ongoing health conditions (ex. high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, cardiac disease, GI problems)?

  4. Is the current treatment plan working toward CURING or reversing my condition?

  5. Besides renewing prescription drugs,what other professionals has my doctored consulted with or referred me to to maximize my health?

  6. Since good quality food is essential for good health, when was the last time my doctor sat down with me to discuss my nutrition? If your doctor doesn’t feel qualified based on his or her knowledge, when was the last time they scheduled a follow up appointment with a nutritionist?

  7. When was the last time your doctor asked you if there were any unaddressed health care needs you wanted to discuss?

Good doctoring isn’t about symptom care; it’s about human care and achieving quality living. If you want more from the current relationship you have with your physician, LET HIM OR HER KNOW. If they take this as a threat or cannot provide this level of health care, I recommend following Donald Trump’s solution:

YOUR FIRED!

I hope this places a new light on the potential relationship you can have with your doctor and the benefits it can provide helping you achieve the level of health you choose. Doctors are human. The better you communicate your needs, the better we can do our jobs.

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8 comments

  1. It is NOT the doctor’s job to make the patient well; it is the doctor’s job to ASSIST the patient in making themselves well.

    Yes, Yes, YES!!! My doctor refers me when I need it, or when he is not in a position to give me expert advise on a particular subject. Having said that, I will also say that I think he has next to no idea how to counsel me regarding nutrition. I’m thankful for him though, because outside of huge medical centers, PCPs that are GPs are hard to find in NEPA.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Sounds like a doctor you have a good deal of confidence in. Since you talk about food in your posts, you might want to consider asking him for a referral to a nutritionist that can help you with this part of health. Most doctors don’t realize their patients want help in this area unless the question is asked.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reblogged this on The Chronicles of a Chronically-Spectacular Spoonie and commented:
    It is SO rare to find a physician who readily admits that his humanity does, in fact, make him imperfect. It is also rare to find an incisive discussion of one humble doctor’s perspective on the ideal nature of the doctor / patient relationship and the habits both individuals should adopt to make this vital connection as healthy as possible. This article and the blog All About Healthy Choices are highly-recommended reads by this equally imperfect patient!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Excellent article covering many facets.
    I totally agree. and think this is a serious problem that needs adjustment both from patients and doctors. I think your first line says it all a doctor is not God. It’s unrealistic and unfair to expect him to be infallible. I spent a long time in the far east so am familiar with Chinese medicine which has much the west could learn from about treating the problem rather than the symptoms. The best doctors there use a blend of both types of medicine – western for immediate relief along with natural herbal and dietary changes for a long term healing..
    I generally give doctors a hard time as many expect you just “do as they say” whereas I’m full of questions. It’s easy to be intimidated by doctors sometimes. I think the type of doctor you describe would be ideal but hard to find.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your feedback. Finding a doctor that suits various individual needs is difficult. In my opinion, it’s an effort worth pursuing. The alternative is receiving care based on an algorithm without creative thought or outside considerations that might also be contributing to the root cause of the problems (symptoms). These doctors do exist and care deeply about their patient’s well being. I would like to believe that my patient’s experienced this level of care and concern. This was my mission in becoming a doctor.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. I totally agree with your comments! Having worked with doctors for years I know them to be very human eg do make mistakes and usually suffer from omnipotency tendencies eg over treat in a need to cure all. People need to be more discriminatory.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s called a “practice” for a reason. Physicians require time to learn to balance our academic knowledge with our clinical experience. In the beginning, we rely heavily on what our text books tell us. As we learn to lift our eyes from the pages and focus them on the patient and their needs we begin offering better quality care. If this transition never occurs, we begin to blame the patient for their lack of recovery. If this isn’t recognized, it can spiral into egotistical behavior which many doctors have been identified as possessing. To avoid this end result, a good doctor will turn their focus back onto their patient and determine how to move forward in a positive and meaningful way.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Reblogged this on disue.

    Liked by 1 person

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