At the heart of advocating for yourself is believing that good fortune is always right around the corner, so long as you keep looking.
—Fiona Maazel in O, The Oprah Magazine
Physicians are usually talented, competent, and caring people who have trained for years to become experts in their field. We are extremely fortunate to have their skills and guidance. However, it would be a mistake to think of your doctor as the one in charge of your healthcare. That needs to be you.
Ultimately, physicians and other healthcare providers don’t heal you. You heal yourself.The word doctor comes from the Latin docore, “to teach.” A doctor is a teacher—someone from whom you can gain valuable information. Thank God for these teachers. Their knowledge and skills help save lives every day.
Consider this, however: Your doctor prescribes a treatment or performs a procedure, whereas you are the one who chooses the doctor and chooses to follow that treatment. It’s your body that does the work to heal. It’s you that has to make lifestyle changes and overcome emotional, physical, and logistical challenges in order to return to health.
Also keep in mind that every healthcare provider, whether she is a brain surgeon or an herbalist, is operating within a certain paradigm based on her worldview and how she was trained. Even when a provider does have knowledge about other medical specialties or alternative modalities, the 15- or 30-minute appointments she is allotted won’t let her share very much of it with you.If you are not getting as healthy as you would like, you may need a broader perspective. In that case, throw open the door to a wider variety of treatment options than one or two providers can offer.
Being the boss of your healthcare team means handpicking your primary doctor after interviewing a few options, maintaining close contact with her and other providers to get their input, thoroughly researching conventional and alternative-treatment options, and getting your friends and family in on the effort.
You may already be doing a lot of that. Or, you might not have to do it all. But if your current efforts aren’t getting the results that you want, you can step up your game by becoming the boss. Let’s explore how.
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This is the 17th in a series of excerpts from the first section, Take Charge, of my new book, Everyday Healing. To start your journey on Day 1 and read the whole book: Everyday Healing: Stand Up, Take Charge and Get Your Health Back . . . One Day at a Time please visit Amazon, Barnes & Noble or your local independent bookstore to pick up your copy today.
As always, if you have any thoughts, feedback or questions, I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment below and let’s talk!
To your health,