The world around us is rapidly changing. And with all the global changes come some more localized adaptations. In healthcare, we’re accelerating a push towards digital innovation in order to provide care during times of lockdown and social distancing.

But not everyone is excited about these changes.

If your doctor suggests a telehealth meeting like a Zoom appointment or an at-home digital monitor, you may be wary of change. But in some cases, following your doctor’s advice is the only way to stay safe and healthy.

So if you’ve recently gotten some medical advice you’re thinking of disobeying, you may want to reconsider.

Trust Your Doctor

You don’t have to hold a doctor to godlike status to understand that they have extensive medical training. It’s true that no one human knows everything, but doctors have access to cutting edge training and information that the rest of us usually do not. And while it’s perfectly acceptable to get a second opinion, it’s dangerous to shun medical advice from a trained professional.

If you don’t trust your doctor’s advice, maybe there’s a reason. There are times when it makes sense to make a change, so think about whether another doctor would be better suited to your needs. Either way, you should feel some level of trust with the medical advisors on your team.

Your Life is on the Line

Doctors give you advice for a reason. Ultimately, it’s going to be up to you to make healthy choices and to maintain your own health. Your doctor should tell you whether something is serious or life-threatening, but you should always take the advice that’s going to impact your health.

For example, if you’re in rehab and a doctor advises against leaving treatment early, it’s probably because you’re not ready. The consequences of disobeying this advice could be a relapse and/or overdose. Similarly, if you ignore the advice of dietary changes and insulin for diabetes, you may encounter serious medical problems.

Change is Often for the Best

If you have an aversion to technology in healthcare, understand that times are changing. Telehealth has quickly become the go-to method for many doctor’s appointments, especially for those that do not require diagnostic testing.

For example, if you have a rash, the doctor may be able to look at it and ask questions through a Zoom call instead of an in-person visit. And while COVID-19 remains a concern, in-person visits raise everyone’s risk of contracting the illness.

If you avoid the doctor’s recommendation or avoid the appointment altogether, you may be ignoring something that could be serious. Oftentimes, a rash is evidence of contact dermatitis, an allergic reaction or eczema — but there are times when it’s a sign of something much more serious.

The good news about change is that it’s only different before you’ve tried something new. Once you get used to the new way of doing things, it’ll become second nature.

Google Doesn’t Have All the Answers

In an age where we can Google literally anything and review thousands of answers, it’s tempting to think we can solve every medical problem ourselves. And while Google can be a very important tool in your wellness arsenal, search engines cannot provide the same advice that your doctor can.

Your doctor should be well aware of your medical history, and that’s not something Google can say (at least, not yet). So what you’re seeing on the internet is very broad advice that covers a range of issues. If you end up self-treating, you could be treated for a condition you don’t even have, and the results may end up being worse than the original problem.

Think About Friends and Family

If you’re making risky decisions about your health, you may think you are the only one who will have to live with the consequences. But if you’re struggling with a life-threatening condition or an addiction, your friends and family will also be impacted by your decisions.

Think about worst-case scenarios and how they might impact your loved ones before disobeying medical advice.

When it comes to your health, you have complete control. It may not feel like it at times, but you are the one calling the shots. This can be empowering, and it can also carry an element of danger. Because when you disobey medical advice, you may end up in a situation where your health worsens.

If you doubt the advice your doctor has given you, get a second opinion. You may even get a third or fourth opinion. But if you’re thinking about disobeying medical advice, reconsider that thought. The results could be devastating.