If you have health issues, then you already know the difference between a positive medical experience and a negative one. There is a good chance that you may have run into doctors that were aces, and doctors that were not so much. What you might not realize, though, is how much of those encounters were more about you than it was about the doctor. You have a lot more control over your healthcare than you realize. However, some doctors don’t want you to know that. They want to have all the power in the relationship and only deal with submissive patients that will do everything they are told and never challenge the pronouncements of the physician. That is how you know you have a bad doctor.
You might not have to fire your doctor simply because you don’t like her. The doctor doesn’t need to be your friend. They just need to be good at their job. That said, as a patient, you also need to be good at your job. It might come as a surprise to you that you have a job. Even if you have a great doctor, you might not get the best possible care if you are not keeping up your end of the bargain. Here is your part of the doctor/patient contract.
Experiment Before Calling the Doctor
When you go to a doctor for something like gut pain, one of the first questions the doctor will ask is what have you tried. At the very least, you want to be able to report that you tried a cleanse diet. If you do even a little research, you’ll see that is one of the top suggestions. What most doctors want is a patient who is proactive with regard to their health. You only go to the doctor when you are out of things you can safely try. When you try such a diet, it is often enough to do the job so that you don’t have to call the doctor at all.
If you have done no research and tried nothing, the doctor will have to recommend all the basic things that you could have tried without her. That is a waste of your time and money. The doctor would prefer to start with more information that can only be obtained by trying the things that are safe for you to try. If you want to be the best possible patient and get the best possible care, do some safe experimentation so that you have something to offer when the doctor asks what you have tried.
Be the Boss
It’s important to remember that your doctor is not the boss of you, and there is no reason for you to give them the impression that they are. Sure, they know more about biology than you, but that doesn’t mean they are in charge. Make your patient interaction better by being the boss that you are.
Your doctor works for you. When you go see the doctor, it is like you are hiring that doctor. You have the right to fire the doctor, as well. You can remove them from your list of caregivers with the snap of a finger. It is a power you don’t want to exercise without good cause, however, but you do have that power. And when you feel uncomfortable with your treatment, you should end it and start again with someone who is a better fit for you.
Use Your Technology to Your Advantage
CES always features new health tech, and the CES health tech event of 2021 was no exception. We are way past simple fitness trackers and heart rate monitors. We are at the dawn of a new age, one that includes smart clothing that can monitor your health and use your smartphone to call for help. That might even justify the outrageous price for a decent pair of jeans. A responsible patient is one who uses all of the tech that they have at their disposal to monitor their own health when away from the doctor’s office. When the doctor asks you about your average blood pressure or glucose, you should be able to give them an answer.
Conduct safe experimentation. Be the boss you actually are. And use easily attainable tech to monitor your important health metrics. When you become a better patient, you will be surprised at how much better your doctors will become.