We live in a culture where doctors have been elevated to “God” status and if the doctor says it – then it must be right! Well yes and no. It is called “practicing medicine” for a reason. First and foremost we need to realize that doctors are human just like us, the problem is when the doctor doesn’t realize that themselves.
Medical research and technology is in a constant state of growth and change. That means that new research and studies are constantly happening in all areas of medicine. Take for example heart attacks in women. Studies were primarily done on men and it was thought that they were the same in women. It has only been within the last 10-15 years that research has come out that women have very different signs of a heart attack.
Doctors should be reading medical journals, attending conferences, and continue their education while they practice medicine. Some however, don’t do this. Some people got into being a doctor for the money and that’s all they care about. Others do it because they enjoy helping people and improving their quality of life.
Throughout my life I had told every doctor of my symptoms. I would be pumped with pills, sometimes without blood work being done. My symptoms would be dismissed as a sensitive stomach, all in my head, side effects of other issues, I was fat, and the list goes on. Medical professionals who don’t listen to you about your symptoms are far from professional. They aren’t there to work towards improving your quality of life, just there to bill insurance and get paid.
So how do you find a good doctor? Well there are a few things you can do. First and foremost you have to decide what it is you want from a doctor. If you haven’t read my article on What is Your Health Worth? I suggest you do. All of those things are things you need to ask yourself.
Talk to friends or co-workers to ask if they have a doctor that they like. Stop being embarrassed by medical issues and start asking around. I will be the first to tell you if the doctor is a GOOD doctor – they either won’t take new patients or they are very hard to get into. Why? Because they are good. It’s really that simple.
If you find a doctor that you want to go see, then make an appointment. Go when you are feeling GOOD – don’t wait until you have a cold or have a problem. Why? Because they will treat you by text book standards because they have nothing to go on. You may be having health problems currently and it may have been a long time since you’ve felt good, that’s ok – go. When you go, be prepared with questions for the doctor.
YOU HAVE TO BE YOUR OWN ADVOCATE
I can’t express that enough. No two humans are the same and none of us fit into a box or formula. Yes we are all human and have the same basic stuff and how it functions but we are all different. If you feel like something is wrong with you and other doctor’s have not listened too you – TELL YOUR DOCTOR THAT. A good doctor will listen and want to hear your symptoms and solve the puzzle that is you. A doctor there to collect a pay check will throw a pill at you or insult you.
Here are some suggested questions you can ask:
I’m currently on several medications and I want to improve my quality of life to not take them, do you think that is possible? (Any doctor that wants to keep you drugged up isn’t there to improve your quality of life – if you get a “we’ll see” that’s GOOD. Means they want to figure things out first. Not all conditions can be taken off medication. )
I get relief from non western medicine like chiropractic, massage and acupuncture how do you feel about integrating that into my treatment plan? (Only ask this if it really works for you)
Members of my family have the following issues and I show these symptoms are they related? (Celiac and other things are or can be hereditary or familial. If your doctor doesn’t want to listen to this – move on!)
I once had a pulmonologist (lungs doctor) tell me that I needed to get therapy for being molested as a child, because that was the reason I was heavy. He went on to tell me all heavy people were molested as children that’s why they are heavy as adults. I returned to my primary care and told him what he said and asked if he shared that viewpoint. My primary care doctor said “you will NEVER go back to him again. That was in no way anything to say to you and totally out of line and I apologize.” THAT is a good doctor. If you have health issues, you can get a second opinion and I encourage you too. Do not ever just “settle”!