A client sent me a screenshot of this tweet – I think there’s truth in it, and it got me thinking about the doctor-patient relationship. How do you choose the right doctor?
First, let me say that there are many wonderful doctors out there and the amount of time, money, and energy they invest in their medical education and training deserves respect. But as a patient, you deserve respect too. And I think we are conditioned to sometimes give too much power away to someone in a white coat.
It’s a relationship, and like all relationships in life, there should be reciprocity. If your doctor dismisses (1) your questions and concerns, (2) research you bring in to discuss, or (3) your insights into what it’s like to live with a certain health issue, then it may be time to consider switching doctors. Finding a doctor is a lot like dating – you have to try people on and see how they fit. And when you find the right one, you just know. ?
The bottom line is this: it’s your body and no one knows it better than YOU. Trying to find health care providers to be part of your healing team can be challenging (and expensive), but when you find the right ones, it can literally change your life.
Here are some things to consider:
1. Choose a doctor who is interested in finding the CAUSE of your health condition and how to remedy that cause. The traditional medical model is built around managing and treating symptoms. Doctors generally exist in silos based on their specialty – you see a cardiologist for a heart symptom, an endocrinologist for a thyroid symptom, and an immunologist for an autoimmune response. The problem with this system is that there usually isn’t anyone looking at ALL of these symptoms together and how they may interconnect.
2. Choose a doctor who honors your individuality. We are all biochemically unique. Even if you and I have the same health condition, we don’t experience it exactly the same way. We have different genetics, different lifestyles, and are exposed to different things in our environments, all of which influence how we experience illness. Find a doctor who builds a protocol around YOU, rather than shoving you into a generic protocol.
3. Choose a doctor who plays well with others. When you have a complex, rare, and/or chronic health condition, it’s very likely that you will be working with more than one health care provider. A good doctor will be open to working and communicating with other providers, such as nutritionists, naturopaths, specialists, etc.
4. Choose a doctor who views your relationship as a partnership. A good doctor will view your relationship as a two-way street. Your doctor should make you feel respected and listen to your questions, concerns, and experiences.
5. Take part in your own healing. Don’t be passive and expect someone else to “fix” you – do your part to co-create your own health and healing. How? Ask questions. Read about your health condition. Talk to other people who have experience with what you’re going through. Explore all your healing options. That way you position yourself to make the best decision for you.
6. Listen to your intuition. Never discredit your gut instinct. We are all intuitive and your body can pick up on other people’s energy. If something inside you says something is not right about a health care provider, situation, or treatment, TRUST IT and keep it moving. I always tell my clients that no matter what anybody tells you, YOU have to believe in the healing path that you are on, otherwise it won’t work.