If you have an addict in your life you’re probably thinking…”Good thing? “Have you lost your mind?”
It’s not what you think. Loving an addict teaches you tons. I love to put a sweet spin on the craziness.
Doctor Shopping! You’ve probably heard of it…at least this kind – when a person seeks care from multiple doctors all in an effort to obtain multiple prescriptions for controlled substances. Sadly, it’s a common practice and has gotten lots of people in trouble – physicians and patients. Tragically, many have even lost their lives. It is a really bad thing. I’m certainly not referring to this kind of doctor shopping as being a good thing. Thankfully there are processes in place now that help make this a little more difficult.
The doctor shopping I’m referring to is a good thing…shopping for your best doctor. One who gets you and has the same goals as you. It’s similar to shopping for your perfect dress. You know, the one that looks best on you, helps make you feel your best and flatters your unique self. The one that makes you glow and brings out the best you. You don’t want a “one size fits all” dress. Unless you have the perfectly sized and shaped body (which most of us don’t) – it won’t be the best for you. Most of us don’t want a “one size fits all” physician either.
Many of us don’t know the importance of having our perfect physician. “Our perfect” meaning perfect for us. We are all uniquely made, have different goals, have a different history and we are all willing to do different things when it comes to our health and life. You want someone who is going to take the time to understand you and your individual goals. Everyone is different. Some people have the mindset they need a pill for everything. Others think they don’t need a pill for anything. We have to find a balance. We need a physician who gets us and our goals. We need one who is knowledgeable and sometimes we need a specialist who is an expert in a particular area. We have to trust their knowledge, heart and goals.
I want a physician who will listen to me, tell me the issue and give me suggestions on what I can do to correct it. They are much more knowledgeable than I am. But I’m not going to take a pill just because someone told me to. Of course I will if there is no other choice. But when I know and understand the problem, I will work hard to meet my goal. And I usually do meet it. Win/Win – the physician goals are met and so are mine.
For example, my cholesterol was high. My sweet physician knows my crazy self and knows I’m not taking a pill unless there really isn’t another choice. He told me the problem – my cholesterol levels were abnormal. I needed to get the numbers in check or I would need to go on a cholesterol medication. If I didn’t, I could have a stroke and/or other medical complications. Strokes and heart disease run in my family. So…I understood the problem, the goal and possible complications or end result. He allowed me to do it my way. I did the work – exercised, ate clean, and took vitamins and omega 3s. I got my cholesterol levels back down to the goal within 5 and half months. Synergy! Win/Win! I met the goal doing it without prescription medications. Now there is a little more to it than this and you always need to listen to the advice of your physician. Sometimes we have no other choice than to take medication but I would never be happy with a physician who just handed me a pill and expected me to take it because he/she said so. I want a physician who will listen to me and work with me. I’m certainly thankful for mine. He’s awesome and so is his nurse. I almost forgot – you want a physician with a great nurse too. The nurse is super important and can make or break the culture of an office.
If you don’t have the right physician, one who understands you, your goals and works with you to reach them – find a new one. Get on the internet, read the reviews – but take them with a grain of salt – the majority of the people complete surveys or reviews when they are angry. Determine what you want in a physician. Don’t just settle for anyone. Talk to your friends and other professionals. Who do they love? Who would they recommend? Your perfect physician is out there. You just have to find him/her and sometimes it takes a lot of work. Remember your best friend’s perfect physician might not be yours.
One more thing – be a great patient! Communicate. Be proactive. Keep your appointments. Be honest about medication usage. Don’t wait until the last minute to request refills. Once you and your physician have worked together to form a plan of action – follow it! They need great patients just like we need great physicians!
Finding the sweet in the crazy!
Websites to read physician reviews: