Wednesday, March 7, 2012

How to Be the World's Worst Patient

Admitedly this part of the complete article is somewhat out of context since the leadin has been omitted here. I therefor encourage you to to trat the complete article here.

How to Be the World's Worst Patient

....if you want to be considered the world's worst patient:
  1. Do research: The worst thing you can do is to come into a doctor's appointment with a strong body of knowledge. Your doctor spent eight years in medical school. How dare you do your own research! This makes the doctor think you think you know more than he does. Harming his or her ego is an unforgivable error. Your best bet is to remain completely, totally ignorant and to rely on your distracted physician to take a complete health history, order tests based on their wisdom - never yours, and correctly diagnose you and write a prescription in under five minutes. They have practice quotas to fill, after all.
  2. Ask your doctor to run tests they haven't ordered: Silly, silly patient ... do you seriously think you know more about your own body than your doctor does? How dare you question their wisdom! Just do what they tell you and trust that they know better than you do. On a serious note ... I'm not talking about asking your doctor to run unnecessary or extreme tests, I'm talking about asking your doc to add simple blood tests to the blood work s/he ordered, or to request a different type of test if your research has shown the type of test that was ordered is often incorrect or insufficient. You hired the doctor; they work for you. You have a right to request specific tests. Be prepared to prove and justify your request, but know that you definitely have the right to request additional testing if you believe it's warranted.
  3. Refuse a prescription: The best option for every condition under the sun is obviously a prescription, so don't you dare ask to try to address something without a prescription. How dare you! Again on a serious note, I'm not talking about refusing a life-saving prescription or refusing to take a prescription to control a condition that could cause permanent damage, such as Type 1 diabetes or high blood pressure. I'm talking about asking your doctor to consider other options for mild conditions that are often corrected using lifestyle changes, or issues where your blood work is normal but on the verge of being abnormal.
  4. Request a different prescription: Again, how dare you presume that you know more than your physician! I was once fired as a patient because I requested an alternative prescription for my thyroid condition. I happily shook the dust off my feet and moved on without looking back. The end result was that the alternative prescription, from a natural source that provided additional hormones, was an absolute life-changer that brought my blood levels to normal for the first time in years. The bottom line is that many new pharmaceuticals are put on the market each year. It is virtually impossible for your physician to know everything there is to know about every new prescription medication. Additionally, some health conditions have multiple prescription options. Many MDs fall into the habit of only prescribing one or two, usually because the sales rep for those meds did a really good job. No MD can say he or she knows every single side effect for every pharmaceutical. I once had a client who told his physician the medication the doctor prescribed was known to cause kidney damage. The physician very condescendingly told him he was wrong. This poor man came to see me because his kidney function fell to 40% after taking that prescription. If you are aware of side effects your physician is not, feel free to share your concerns and request an alternative. Take documentation proving your concerns if needed. If your MD refuses to consider your request, it may be time to interview new physicians. (On a side note to thyroid patients, hair loss is a known side effect of Synthroid that is listed in the patient information sheet, yet many physicians are unaware of and deny that side effect. If hair loss is an issue and you're on Synthroid or one of its generic alternatives, it may be time to consider alternatives and to make sure your dosage is correct.)
  5. Mention another doctor: Silly, silly patient ... are you foolish enough to think that two heads are better than one and that another doctor's opinion might help provide more insight into your care? Blasphemy! It often makes sense to get a second opinion. I've spoken with patients who maintain relationships with three different holistic MDs simply because they want a variety of opinions and options. Having multiple doctors doesn't express a lack of faith in one, it simply communicates that you want the broadest depth of expertise applied to your case. It's fine. There is a limit, however. Running from doctor to doctor in search of one who will tell you what you want to hear is not always wise. Use common sense. If you come across a doc who is offended you have more than one doctor, it may be time to move on.
There you have it. So, tell me: Are you a "good" patient or "bad"?
Good Works Wellness - Pamela Reilly

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