Finding Doctor Right
I know I am dating myself, as the term “finding Mr. Right” was born in the 60’s. Finding the “right man” was many a woman’s focus. Since then, many of us have loved, lost and lived through it. Fast forward to the 00’s and, as a woman in a profession helping women to heal, I find the majority of women are now searching for “Doctor Right.” This is not an easy task for anyone.
Our medical practitioners are often held captive by managed care companies. Medicine has sadly evolved, in many instances, from a healing focus to a money focus. Doctors are instructed to carve down the much needed time spent with patients, often with major incentives to keep performance levels high, while patient consideration and care suffer. Medicine is a huge multi-billion dollar bottom line business pushing far too many drugs, often with serious side-effects.
After dealing with a number of cancer doctors last May, I found this arena of supposed “healing,” ( I say this with tongue in cheek) sorely lacking in time given, dignity towards the patient, terminology clarification, and plain old-fashioned we care about you care. The way medicine works today revolts me on one level, angers me on another and saddens me beyond belief. Too frequently, people have become terrorized and victimized simply due to the lack of time made available for doctors to counsel their patients, while doctors must watch their every word, lest they be sued. So, vital information is not always shared, pertinent facts are often left unrevealed.
This is a user-friendly guide as to what to look for in any health professional, most importantly the physician who will hold your precious health in the palm of his or her hand. Most importantly, your quest for a fully participating, respectful and concerned doctor needs to be one who not only listens, but also shares your own personal mindset.
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STEP 1: Call the physician and request a short phone conversation prior to scheduling an appointment. If he doesn’t have the time to spend 1-2 minutes setting the tone of your relationship, he/she is most likely too busy at this time to participate in your healing process. Any process takes time and energy.
STEP 2: Upon your first physical connection, note if he/she is brimming with health and vitality. The extra bonus would be a physician who is direct, yet somewhat humorous (it’s hard to be humorous if one feels cruddy), and has a kindly, gentle bedside manner.
STEP 3: Ensure you will not be rushed and you are given the ear you need to unravel your health concerns. The optimal doctor would be one who sets forth queries regarding your daily habits (hours of sleep, ounces of water per day, dietary choices, and known allergies to name a few).
STEP 4: I know this seems unreal, but look for a doctor who spends a minimum of 30 to 60 minutes with you, taking your family, personal and medical history, who examines the chronological manifestations of health eruptions and ties these in with major stress fractures throughout your life. Create a timeline and present a copy to your doctor linking surgeries with high stress periods noting emotional peaks and valleys, onset of perimenopause, etc. Include general dietary abuse periods and medications.
STEP 5: Seek out a physician who explains everything thoroughly, with patience. This health professional is pivotal in conjoining with you, not for you, in determining the next step in your health curriculum. You cannot make savvy decisions without being informed on all levels.
STEP 6: Find out if your future doctor of choice works out. If not, it is not possible for he/she to relate well to sports injuries, much less advise you to increase your protein needs to aid in healing or prevent in reinjuring your stress point. If you don’t work out, a doctor who does is far more apt to espouse the many benefits of exercise.
STEP 7: Ask his/her age. I prefer a doctor that is young enough to be open minded to new concepts, yet old enough to be seasoned and practical. And, if healthy, they can be your doctor for years to come.
STEP 8: Let your future doctor know you are interested in knowing his/her personal philosophy. Are medications used as a primary therapy modality? If this doesn’t fit with your philosophy and he/she is not willing to work without meds, or to wean you off current meds, you need to dial the next number.
STEP 9: Inquire if he/she uses nutritional intervention i.e.: herbs, homeopathy, or vitamin therapies. If not, would he/she be willing to read information passed on by you, explore further and then possibly incorporate?
In short, you are looking for “Dr. Right”: a physician who will take your hand and walk with you down the path to vibrant health, who will help you to kiss your medications and Premarin farewell. One who takes the time needed to help you to heal. I’ve been looking for 17 years. At long last I have found a doctor who has returned to “To the Patient, Do No Harm.” His name is Dr. Joseph Brasco. For more information on how to connect with Dr. Brasco, feel free to call me at 312.664.7979.