WHAT MAKES YOU MATTER?

dr-seuss-600I was taught the importance of an education as a young child. This education became more concentrated as I grew up and attended college. As a result, I developed a PASSION for HEALTH which became my primary focus in education. This culminated in a career as a physician.

This title, “PHYSICIAN” created a cloak of authority and power. My life developed “value” as my patients turned to me for guidance and instilled their confidence in my health decision making skills. It reinforced my “relevance” and proved to society “I MATTERED.” Thankfully, maturity and experience taught me how naive this perception was.

Most of us experience this “I MATTERphenomenon. Whether we become a “VALUED” employee or produce a “VALUED” product or service, we often use these values to determine we MATTER.

Our government values us based on our ability to work and pay taxes. Our mortgage companies and utility companies value us based on our ability to pay for their services and products.

Have you ever wondered when our INDIVIDUAL VALUE (and MATTERING) begins to dissipate?

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How do we view our senior population? Do we turn to them for their experience and marvel at their wisdom and effort over their years of service? Do we reach out and thank them for their efforts that have contributed to the opportunities we have today? Seniors seem to live quieter lives (in general.) They travel less, they no longer purchase new homes, they no longer retain employment (which, in turn, reduces their tax contributions to society) and they no longer pay college tuition for their children. Instead, they often require society’s assistance to help sustain basic necessities especially if their health has waned.  Based on these changes in lifestyle as we age, does our society and its MORAL CHARACTER shine in support of this segment of our population? Do we reinforce their value and the FACT THAT THEY MATTER  through our ACTIONS and EMOTIONAL SUPPORT, or do we (in general) view them as a source of STRESS and a drain on the SYSTEM?

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NOW THAT I’VE GAINED YOUR ATTENTION:

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How much do you matter as an entity in society? How much do you think my profession cares about your HEALTH? Do you think we would invest the time, effort and money to help you maximize your health and quality of life if your savings and health insurance didn’t exist? Conversely, if you had quality resources (savings and good health insurance) is it possible we might provide services above and beyond that which is needed, not because YOU MATTER, but because OUR “FINANCIAL WANTS” MATTER? Need more proof? Have you ever read about UNNECESSARY DIAGNOSTIC TESTING patients go through because it generates additional revenue for the medical institutions? Do you believe this testing would readily be performed on those patients without sufficient means to pay for it (in most cases,) even if the doctor believed it could help determine a more accurate diagnosis? How about the unnecessary treatments ALL TYPES OF DOCTORS benefit from because patients rely on the honesty and integrity of these individuals? Do you believe doctors are immune to deception when power and large sums of money are part of the equation?

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I HAVE AN IDEA FOR YOU

The next time your doctor recommends a treatment for you, your spouse or your child (which you assume is necessary and beneficial,) ask the doctor:

  1. “if I had no money, no insurance and no means to pay for the recommended treatment, what else would you suggest?”

  2. “if I had no money, no insurance and no means to pay for it, would you reschedule a follow up office visit?”

  3. “if I had no money, no insurance and no means to pay for it, would you prescribe drugs I couldn’t afford anyway, or take the time and recommend IN DETAIL alternative approaches (ex. nutrition plans and exercise) that didn’t add additional unaffordable expenses to improve my health?”

  4. “if I had no money, no insurance and no means to pay for it, would I (or my family) really MATTER!?” If you believe the doctor would answer “yes,” to this question, what parameters do you think he or she would use to prove it?

When we are willing to separate our EMOTIONAL NEEDS from this STARK REALITY and no longer BLINDLY believe our AUTHORITATIVE PROFESSIONALS are motivated by moral altruism, we begin to realize the importance of CONTROL over our OWN DECISION MAKING and the relevance it plays in becoming MASTERS of our own FUTURE. Once we break free from the bonds of traditional thinking and arrive at this conclusion, we begin to clearly see our lives:

TRULY MATTER

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At this point, our ability to OBJECTIVELY evaluate motives of AUTHORITATIVE PROFESSIONALS in health care (as well as life in general) provide a RATIONAL perspective rather than simply an EMOTIONAL one. This helps improve our INDIVIDUAL PERSONAL CONFIDENCE when deciding to CONSENT OR REFUSE treatment recommendations. Both party’s involved (doctor and patient) now recognize their individual roles as well as their individual responsibilities. This leads to greater mutual respect and helps reinforce a new REALITY that both lives

EQUALLY MATTER.

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This relationship can only develop if BOTH parties see the weaknesses in the current system. The patient has been the PASSIVE recipient for a very long time. The doctor has traditionally “dictated” (in most cases) the decision making process. It becomes the PATIENT’S responsibility to initiate change in this relationship, because the doctor has to answer to AUTHORITATIVE PROFESSIONALS as well, who create policies they must follow. You see, the doctors lives only MATTER as long as they are capable of generating revenue by following their superior’s instructions.

Are you willing to accept greater responsibility for your own health? Are you willing to LEARN and UNDERSTAND the options available and ask the questions necessary to choose the BEST OPTION (NOT NECESSARILY THE TRADITIONAL OPTION) that fits your personal needs? If the answer is YES, you have consciously decided:

I MATTER!

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19 comments

  1. Reblogged this on disue.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I matter, everyone should matter. The question is , do we matter enough to take responsibility for our well being. Countless time I have seen family, friends just not caring enough about their health by either their eating habits or excessive drinking. So a trip to a doctor should fix that we think. A pill will allow the bad habits to continue, much easier than to have self control. There is something for everything and everyone. The doctors for most part, will see a patient for few minutes. I doubt questions and answers are much exchanged. If one to ask a medical doctor for an alternative, I  can be certain that they will recommend anything beside a prescription. If one tell a doctor, I don’t have the money to pay for the medicine or the service, I pretty much can be sure that it will be the last visit to the office. No further testing would be recommended. It is sad but true that so little value is placed on Life. We watch our elder wither away awaiting death instead of active and productive in their daily life. How do we teach and reach out to all. No easy answer I am afraid. And I consider myself optimistic and a fighter. I am still trying to get all the justifications to the status quo.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. This is the same response I posted on Facebook. There are always issues to contend with. To prevent them from becoming overwhelming we must slowly “chip away” at them on an ongoing basis. Small FORWARD steps (that may not feel like much,) has a way of creating a cumulative effect. The more people begin to truly VALUE their lives, the more willing they become to make a contribution to improving the world they live in. It is a waste of energy and emotions to “worry” whether this change will occur in our lifetime. It is our job to create awareness and inspiration so that we can “hand the baton” to the next generation to carry on the mission.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Another great post with many points to ponder. One is your mention of whether society values the elderly population and I don’t think we do as much as we should for many of the reasons you state. It’s sad because they really do have so much to teach us and relay about history, lessons learned, what’s really important, etc….They matter a lot, we all do!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Tricia.
      It’s funny, we spend so much time and effort in developing technologies to “improve” our lives. If we SHARED some of this time and simply offered a little more HUMAN KINDNESS , the the impact could be enormous.
      It would PROVE “we all matter!”

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Amen to that!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Excellent perspective. Very sad how the elderly are viewed in some countries. They are highly revered in others for life experience and wisdom, something I hope we move toward in America.

    I also appreciate you asking us to pose questions to our doctors in the context of “What if I didn’t have the means to cover…” That’s a powerful exercise in putting our provides to the test. Are they competent enough to teach us how to proactively, sensibly and naturally care for ourselves as much as we’re able? Thanks for your wisdom, Doctor Jonathan. I’d like to repost this on my site with your permission.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I appreciate your very kind words. It would be my honor if you choose to repost this message. In addition, if you ever find information on my site you feel could benefit others, feel free to use it.

      My mission is to share information to help people make better informed decisions with their lives. So many people with health concerns are lacking resources and are left to fend for themselves. This is my way to help provide guidance (for those seeking it) without ANY conflict of interest. I do NOT ask for anything in return.

      Keep sharing your messages as well. You offer an important perspective that will help change and improve the quality of many lives!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Indeed! I work in nursing facilities and at times, the reason that brings residents there may have been avoidable with behavioral change. Thanks so much!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I am applauding you !!! Fantastic post. I matter. I just wish we all mattered.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. We all do! We just have to PROVE IT to ourselves. It doesn’t matter what anyone else believes.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hummm really got me thinking, first, I married a man 14 years my senior….I have learned so much about life from him…and working with the geriatric clientele I have also learned from them, rather was guided by them…it was eye opening at what some of them pointed out to me during my 21 years at that job….and soooo helpful….as for the MD’s ordering useless test to make the bill bigger….I have seen this done…it wasn’t my place to question the MD’s decisions but it was my place to get the ICD-9 codes needed for the test and sometimes I was aware the doctors had a hard time coming up with a diagnosis that was similar to their problem they were having….after awhile Medicare would not let you get by with the ole stand by R/O codes, they were getting more precise about the need for the test to correlate to the clients illness….by the time I quit the useless testing had almost disappeared at the facility I worked in…I know that our personal MD’s would rather do trial and error first before ordering a test that may or may not reviles anything… however my husband was going to all his MD’s every 6 months faithfully sick or not because they (the MD’s) insisted…why I asked ? I was told to stay in touch…hummmm no need for that…we are on a yearly need to be seen unless something comes up in between that time…it makes life so much easier….thanks for another great post….xxkat

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Being inside the system gave you a peek at reality! We are a society that lives on INCENTIVES. Doctors are rewarded for generating additional revenue. This doesn’t mean their bad people; it simply means the SYSTEM creates an incentive for immoral and unethical behavior. Patients need to understand the tests recommended before APPROVING them.

      Like

      1. I remember asking the MD’s where the pharmaceutical were sending them for putting everyone on Halcion once…he was appalled I would think such a thing….LOL but he did take a few off…they didn’t need the med…he did….pretty sad when its done so blatantly…..and I don’t know how to keep my mouth shut…LOL

        Liked by 1 person

        1. This is a REALITY the consumer is willing to ACCEPT. They would rather be handed a pill (even with the harmful side effects) than a prescription for exercise!

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Reblogged this on Eat, Breathe, Think and commented:
    Multiple powerful insights in this piece by Dr. Jonathan, whose ideas on health are life-altering. Pay close attention to the questions you should consider asking your doctor.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing this message with your readers.

      Like

  8. I did this with my doc and after he got over his shock over the questions (which I’m sure he saw as having his authority challenged), he shot the questions right back at me, confirming my ability to pay.

    When I softly persisted, he became irritated and promptly dismissed me. Heh. :o)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds like your questions helped clarify you were standing in the WRONG doctor’s office. His dismissal of you was probably the best “prescription” he could have given you for YOUR WELL BEING. Hope you have found someone better qualified to satisfy YOUR health needs.

      Liked by 1 person

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