Nobody likes to be told what to do. But for some reason, many of us buy into the belief that we are supposed to do what our doctors tell us to do, even when we don’t agree. 🤔
We aren’t supposed to question their judgement.
We aren’t supposed to ask too many questions or take up too much time.
We are afraid to tell our doctor that we aren’t taking our meds like we are supposed to, or sometimes at all.
When we didn’t quit smoking, lose the weight, or get that darned colonoscopy done already, we are supposed to feel ashamed and guilty.
When we disagree, we just quietly leave and keep our doubts and concerns to ourselves.
Is this a model patient? Is this a “good” patient?
When you think about your relationship with your doctor, I want you to ask yourself, “Is my goal to be a good patient?”
The traditional relationship between a doctor and their patient is one of reverence and obedience. We are to trust that they know best for us and strive to meet their expectations of us. We want to please them. Because after all, what they expect of us is what’s best for us, right?
I want you to question this by asking, “Does this serve me, my health, and my relationship with my doctor?”
❓If you feel inferior to your doctor and uncomfortable asking them to explain again what is happening, how is this serving you?
❓If you leave with a prescription that you have no idea what it is for or how it will solve your problem, is this serving you?
❓If your doctor thinks you are doing one thing and you are in fact doing something completely different, how is this serving you?
Twenty to thirty percent of prescriptions written in the US for medications are never filled, and around 50% of medications used for chronic diseases are not taken according to their instructions.
How is this serving anyone?
I want to show you a different approach because I believe it serves YOU and your doctor.
Your relationship with your doctor is a partnership. You are not inferior to them. IN FACT, you have hired them to consult on your problem.
They WANT to serve you. This is what they show up to work everyday to do. It’s their purpose. And if you don’t feel that way about your doctor, if you don’t feel that you have trust and a connection with them, why are you still asking them to help you?
You might say it is because you don’t have options. I want you to really see how your brain is making this an excuse. Something outside of your control. Question that. If you live in the US, is that really true?
When I meet with patients, I know that they will leave and do whatever they darn well please. In the end, they decide. I create a safe place for them to tell me what they intend to do. We create a plan TOGETHER. It’s the only way it will work.
See, your brain has a funny way of finding evidence for what you believe. If you do not believe it will work, it won’t. Remember this quote?
“Whether you think you can , or think you can’t, you’re right.” – Henry Ford
When you understand the plan, when you have reasonable hope that it will help you, you’re so much more likely to get better.
I want to inspire you to find that with your doctor. If you feel rushed when you get in the room, I want you to say to them, “It’s really important to me that I understand what is going on.”
When you disagree with the decision to start a new medication or follow through on a referral, I want you to say, “I’m not sure I understand how this will help.”
And if there isn’t going to be an agreement on what is best, I want you to be honest with them and tell them that you aren’t ready to do that yet. That you will consider their professional opinion because it is important to you, but that you haven’t made a decision yet.
Because remember, YOU ARE THE BOSS OF YOU. YOU ARE THE EXPERT ON YOU, assuming you are not psychotic, right?
No one is going to “get you in trouble.” What would that even look like? A furrowed set of eyebrows and a frown? It’s OK. You might feel guilty, but remember, IT IS YOUR THOUGHT THAT IS MAKING YOU FEEL GUILTY. Not the disapproval of your doctor.
You are allowed to tell the truth, disagree, ask more questions, and decide for yourself what you will do.
Are you struggling with this idea? It might be because you are a people-pleaser. People pleasers like to say yes when they want to say no. In truth, they are just trying to control how others think of them or act toward them, which is exhausting and impossible anyway. It doesn’t help anyone. Usually, people pleasers end up resenting themselves or the person they are trying to please (aka control). I can show people pleasers how to drop the people pleasing and just own their decision because they like their reasons.
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