Friday, May 2, 2014

Open Letter to Doctors

(Disclaimer: My husband is a WONDERFUL doctor, and none of this would ever apply to him, of course. :)  )

Dear Doctor, 

I am paying YOU. While it may seem like the insurance company or the government is actually paying you, you wouldn't have any of that money if it weren't for ME. You work for ME.

You don't know everything; no one does. The sooner you're able to admit that, the better. The best docs I've ever been to are the ones who would look at research I brought in, who would do further research if needed if they didn't have answers on my condition, and who would give me studies to look at on specific topics. Don't treat your patients like idiots. Yes, many of them are idiots, but just because you disagree does not necessarily make the patient an idiot. The human body is so complicated, no person could ever hope to know everything about it. Furthermore, the studies coming out in medicine are so numerous, you would never have time to read them all.

It's MY body, not yours. I trust your advice, education, and experience for the most part, or I wouldn't be coming to you. But because you don't know everything (see above), don't discount my ideas or desires just because they are foreign to you. I know many docs may feel responsible for poor choices their patients make, but you're not. Advise and let your patients make the decision for themselves. Your job is not to force certain actions on the public but to give your expert advice when we ask. Along those same lines, I am responsible to raise up my children the way I think best, not you. Parent your own children. If there's no abuse involved, mind your own business.

Don't feel so threatened. Many doctors are threatened by questions, threatened by different views, threatened by natural doctors or natural methods, threatened by me asking for an additional test. I don't get this. How does it harm you? It's time for natural docs and mainstream docs to start working TOGETHER. This warfare does nothing but turn patients loyal toward one and antagonistic toward the other, which can only be a detriment to all involved (and the antagonism exists on BOTH sides). We, as patients, need both, and we need you to start being open-minded and working together.

If you can't find a reason or diagnosis for my complaint, explain that. Send me to a specialist or just admit you don't know or can't help. DON'T make me feel crazy, say it's all in my head, or suggest anti-depressants (unless there is a clear need, like, hmmm, admitted depression?) Be humble enough to admit that nobody knows everything. Admit that, and either research it more or move on. Don't be disrespectful.

Don't let other docs bully you, and DON'T gang up with other docs to bully your patients about a certain issue (pediatricians, anyone??) That's not your job. Have the self confidence to be yourself and act on your own convictions. 

-Your Patients

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