Achieving Better Patient Health By Changing The Current Doctor/Patient Paradigm

580aa4ef71dd8919dacec8d434e42ef8I believe that everyone is aware that exercise and nutrition are vitally important in part of a healthy lifestyle. Sometimes I think the emphasis on these two points are overplayed because they seem to reduce the relevance of the other equally important components which receive significantly less attention. Doctors have a tendency to base health on lab values, diagnostic imaging and pathology reports. Although these tangible findings are certainly relevant, sometimes we need to look into a patient’s eyes to understand if more is going on than the reports are revealing. I believe the following four examples add great value to the doctor/patient relationship.

(1) One of my favorite questions I used to ask patients was, “are you happy?” Lab work could not provide an accurate answer to this question (most of the time.) Happiness is an important component to health. It physiologically reduces stress hormones, allows for better metabolic activity and strengthens immune function. Just as important, it makes a person “feel good.” When was the last time your doctor asked you if you were happy?

doctor patient(2) Another important questions was “how much sleep do you get on a daily basis?” Sleep and recovery are essential to function well. Sleep deprivation can lead to (1) stroke, (2) obesity, (3) diabetes, (4) bone disease, (5) cancer, (6) heart disease, (7) memory loss and (8) pain. Once a person experiences any of these conditions, how often do doctors address improving sleep patterns as part of the treatment plan? In most cases the solutions are centered around prescriptive medications to stabilize the condition. This certainly may be an important first step, but how is the person going to prevent a reoccurrence if sleep is not addressed? When was the last time your doctor discussed sleep with you?

(3) I recently wrote an article on water. You can find it by clicking on this red link: Water: A Painless Answer To Disease Prevention. Most people do not truly understand the damaging effects of dehydration unless they are rushed to the hospital in a state of cardiac arrhythmia. Water is NOT an optional fluid; it is essential for life. Why does it have to be an ALL or NOTHING proposition? Why doesn’t the average person consume the amount of water needed for healthy hydration AND drink other beverages (in addition) for flavor and satisfaction? An individual is not healthy if they are chronically dehydrated (even if there are no obvious symptoms.) Remember, symptoms are the FINAL PHASE of a problem your body can no longer address and therefore creates an awareness for self preservation. When was the last time your doctor discussed proper hydration with you?

quote-doctors-are-men-who-prescribe-medicines-of-which-they-know-little-to-cure-diseases-of-which-they-voltaire-354663(4) We are social creatures. Belonging to social and or spiritual/religious organizations creates a comradery the human soul benefits from. This bonding helps establish additional purpose in life leading to a more complete feeling about oneself. Self satisfaction is an important part of good health. As we grow older, this purpose helps further develop our skills and interactions that provide a lifetime of continual growth. Aging becomes viewed from a healthier and happier perspective. When was the last time your doctor asked you what your passions and purpose in life were and what steps you were taking to achieve your goals?

I hope this article helped awaken a new view on health and the additional roles a doctor can participate in to help enable you to maximize your own health. Traditional healthcare offers great value and should continue to be part of everyone’s life. I believe we need to further humanize the doctor/patient relationship to attain superior results to current standards. These four areas of doctor/patient interaction just begin to touch the surface.

What additional services do you feel a doctor should offer to help enhance their patient’s quality of health?

Advertisements

14 comments

  1. I have a wonderful doctor…she listens, and if she can’t find the answer, poof she’s on the internet looking for the answer….and always gives me the chance to weigh in on my health care…I absolutely adore her…we recently changed my husbands MD for the very reason he proved he didn’t care less about what was going on with my husband…our new MD who we researched and called around about is the complete opposite…he is even curious about our RV travels and we have shared succulents out of yards….what a difference…and it gives us peace of mind to have a doctor who takes the time, ask the questions and mostly listens to what we have to say….good post…thanks

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a breath of fresh air to hear people pleased with their physicians. I can promise that each doctor will be a great asset for you and your husband. Health care decisions can be difficult. Having an advocate in your corner providing guidance to help you reach the best decisions possible is worth every dollar it costs. I’m very happy for you. Hoping the two of you need these wonderful doctors as infrequently as possible!

      Like

      1. I hardly ever go to the doctor, my husband is a COPD suffer but we have that under control at this time in his life…I worked in the healthcare industry for over 30 years….I have no problem speaking up and make sure my point is heard for myself and my husband…before we even go, I have done research and printed out articles backing up my theories…I believe that the patient has the choice about the direction we go in our medical decisions and we hire the MD’s for their best advice they can give, and any other options that might be possible for the outcome….I am not a MD but with the internet and WebMD and all the other wonderful sites, it makes it easy to get info to talk with the doctor about…its wonderful you are on here helping us all out…I appreciate any input you want to throw my way….

        Liked by 1 person

        1. If you ever need an independent 3rd party opinion, don’t hesitate to ask. I agree with you. The decision should be made by the patient. The doctor should help make the process easier.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. thanks…I have your email and will send you a note soon…I appreciate all help in my health journey…your very kind…thank you …

            Liked by 1 person

  2. My drs ask about sleep and I complain about it, but no one seems to be able to find an answer. It takes me forever to fall asleep and I am drugged enough to fell and elephant. My body fights it. However last night I actually had a nights sleep. I can’t believe it. Probably the first or 2nd time in my life. Right now I am waiting for a new mask for my BiPap machine and I hope that helps me sleep again. It doesn’t always help and I am awake every 20 minutes or so even with it on. I am 58 and sleep has always been an issue, even as a baby. I was a night owl and still am. Definitely sleep better during the day.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fibro and the meds are likely factors interfering with your sleep. Finding natural methods to increase serotonin would probably offer some benefit. Creating some “quiet time” to sit in a comfortable position and focus on relaxation techniques could be added to your daily routine. Utilizing some teas with calming herbs such as “Sleepy Time” celestial tea about 30-45 minutes before bed could help. Water exercises would also be very good for you. Don’t give up, there are plenty of options to work with.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I just wrote a whole post and then it refused to go through. I hate that. I am not giving up, I am just confused. The chiropractor and the regular drs don’t agree on treatment. Makes it harder when you are caught in the middle. However, this too shall pass.

        Like

        1. Here is my suggestion. Don’t place yourself in the middle; place yourself in charge! Tell any doctor working with you that you respect their training and experience, but your life is your responsibility. Their job is to provide the best advice using the best information available. It is their responsibility to communicate with your other doctors to make certain you have all available options to base your decisions. Any doctor that is not interested in being a “member of your TEAM” should excuse themselves from your care and help you find another doctor more comfortable in this role. It is not about them; it is about YOU!

          Like

  3. A.W.E.S.O.M.E. post. I am sharing this today on FB. Thank you!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Really appreciate your comments on my posts – sincerely love the Voltaire quote, good article!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Comments are crucial because they inspire thought and dialogue. This helps broaden perspectives and leads to the sharing of new ideas. I appreciate you taking your time to read these articles. I also appreciate your honest constructive criticism which helped me recognize the need to shorten the length of the posts.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You know Jonathan I was tentative about making that comment but I was frustrated that I knew you had were communicating valuable content but that my reading time was limited. I was SO impressed that you took it on board, thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have lived long enough to recognize that ego (a person’s sense of self-esteem or self-importance) can be a useful or harmful tool in life. When someone offers me constructive advice in a meaningful way with the potential benefit of helping others, it is foolish (in my opinion) not to re-evaluate and recognize the possible value. As a doctor, I learned that LISTENING to my patients was as important as helping them achieve resolutions for their health concerns.
      Thank you for your willingness to share your honest opinion. Since I am far from perfect, I too learn everyday from people just like you.
      Have a wonderful weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

Your comment can positively impact the lives of others.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: