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Doctors Don’t Know Everything, and the Responsibility Is on You

By Dr. Molly Casey

Your Health Is Your Responsibility

Has every mechanic you’ve met been exceptional? Do you blindly follow their advice? You can take the word “mechanic” and switch that with any other profession, but most likely the answers to these questions are no.

Why, then, do people often do this with doctors? Doctors don’t know everything, but pretending they do is dangerous. Plenty of people blindly follow what doctors say without questioning, assessing, and/or engaging in an optimal fashion. I think it’s largely because people are confused as to how to choose a doctor that is a good fit for them. So let’s take a look.

Your Health, Your Responsibility

The first thing to acknowledge in the doctor search -- regardless of what kind it is -- is that your health is your responsibility, period, end of story. Doctors are not in charge of your health journey or your results along the way. The majority of your health journey is made up of small daily choices that are made outside of the doctor’s office, thus, your 20-minute visit three times a year is not what is creating your results. Admittedly, the guidance they provide can largely steer that journey, so ideally you would find a doctor that fits your health values. However, you should first take ownership of the fact that your health is your responsibility.

Philosophy/Alignment

Think of doctors as a guide for your health. You are the one taking each small step along that way that ultimately produces results and miles walked. How you approach this journey is based on your values; what is most important to you, your head space, and daily life quality are all based on these values. So know what you value most in life on a daily basis with regard to health. Is high energy for grandkids imperative? Is heavy lifting and physical fitness a must? Perhaps you choose to take medication only as a last intervention? Can you not stand exercise? Know what you value.

It’s wise to know a doctor’s philosophy on health and practice. Doctors are individuals who approach health and the practice of medicine through their own lens of life. You don’t always like, or agree with, every other human being’s assessments and opinions, and hopefully you don’t take professional or personal advice from others who don’t share the same good values and goals as you, so why would doctors be any different? Your guide on a high-quality health journey needs to match your values, and your philosophies have to be aligned and fit. Basically, you need to be rowing in the same direction.

You can research doctors from their biography, online website content, and even schedule a consultation in which you get to know the doctor. Just because you go to one appointment doesn’t mean you need to continue going. Ask friends or those who are of a similar mindset for referrals to doctors they love.

Engagement

Your relationship with your doctor is just that -- a relationship. All relationships require work. Good results require you to be aware of their personality and yours, and successful relationships need to gel. Clear communication, whether directly with the doctor or his support team, is mandatory. If you like the doctor but hate the team, communication will be extremely difficult, and that is very important to acknowledge. You may decide liking a doctor isn’t enough to overcome the difficulty in communication with the team members, or vice versa. In the end you need to follow up on your end of the relationship with what the doctor is recommending and feel supported along the way. It has to be a relationship that works.

Finding a successful guide -- a doctor -- for your journey of health requires time, energy and effort. First, own that your health is your responsibility. Second, look for someone who shares a similar philosophy on health and you feel aligned with. Lastly, assess how engaged you feel you can and will be with the doctor and their team.

Don’t follow doctors blindly. Engage in your health and see your results skyrocket.

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