Why liking your doctor makes a huge difference.

When I think about the past two years in terms of doctors, I have a veritable cast of characters that come to mind. Getting married, becoming unemployed, going on my husband’s insurance meant switching from Kaiser, where all of everything was neatly contained in one HMO system, to the wild west (but totally awesome) land of PPO. I didn’t need referrals to see specialists for all that ailed me; and for once, my histamine-hating body rejoiced at the fact that I could pick my allergist based on reviews, proximity, and office hours of convenience. Granted, there were some trials as I adjusted to the PPO plan, like the fact that I needed several different docs — an allergist, a primary care doc, a dermatologist, a lady doc, and an endocrinologist (apparently I’m high maintenance). I hit gold with my allergist, but didn’t so much love my primary care doc. Instead of a doctor who actually listened to my complaints about my weight, I got the old “You’re not trying hard enough. Exercise more, eat less.” Now. Surely there’s some truth to that. But had this doctor taken the time to *really* investigate my claims, they’d find that blood tests don’t lie, and neither was I. So I dumped him, and moved on to the next. I bumbled around with a few different doctors, and now, a year later, I feel that I finally have my medical dream team assembled.

Curvaceous and Stunning Vaudeville Star Lillian Russel

Yesterday I had a two month follow up with my endocrinologist. I like this guy, because not only does he have a great sense of humor (reminding me that I was born in the wrong era, because my weight back then would have been highly desired — even mentioning the curvy old film star Lillian Russel, see below!), he TAKES TIME TO EXPLAIN THINGS. As in, he actually busts out his doctor pen, and starts to draw diagrams on the paper sheet on the exam table. Yesterday, he drew a diagram of the kidney’s role in weight loss, and why a long-term low carb diet can be challenging on the kidneys. (We’re trying a 1,300 calorie  day diet now, with moderate “good” carbs.) I had some very pointed questions about some of the hormone issues I’ve been having, and he gave me very direct, yet polite, responses. There’s a bedside manner that’s needed anytime you’re working with the public, especially when it’s sensitive stuff. I don’t need to be coddled, but if I ask a direct question, I want a direct answer, but delivered softly. This guy has it mastered — even making jokes about Dexter while taking blood. Schwing! I have what’s called “white coat hypertension”. I’m usually nervous at doctor’s appointments, so yesterday, my first blood pressure reading was sky high (156/92. YIKES!). I now know to ask the doctors to re-check mid-way through the appointment. I’ve known this for years, yet Kaiser wouldn’t retest me, and I ended up having to visit a hypertension clinic where, no surprise, my repeat blood pressure readings were great. The doc yesterday got me laughing, took my blood pressure a second time while cracking jokes about my Metformin induced nausea, and lo and behold, my blood pressure was a relatively healthy 126/79. That? Is a good doctor. One who listens, takes note, suggests helpful modifications, and cares.

So who cares if I like my doctor, right? I care. You have to decide to take action after leaving your doctor’s office, to try and manage the things YOU can control. Some things you can’t control, but some you can. I left my appointment feeling encouraged, positive, and motivated to keep working on my weight loss. And that’s why I realize it’s important to like the person who’s helping to take care of and treat YOU. Because YOU matter at the end of the day, and to keep yourself in tip-top shape, “liking” the person who’s giving you the orders is super important. Have you found a doctor you like?

 

 

 

 

 


13 thoughts on “Why liking your doctor makes a huge difference.

  1. Agree! That is why I’ve stuck with my Primary Care doc for so many years, and why I still drive an hour to see him. He won me over by sitting there for over an hour, and just listening, during that first initial visit. I was shocked.

  2. I love my endocrinologist. My mom goes to her too (i had no clue until my mom ended up in the hospital and she kept talking about her doc this her doc that, and i was like who are you talking about and said my docs name. which she has a different last name so it was definitely her)

  3. Liking your doctor is very important. The thing I don’t like about my doctor is that he’s obviously younger than I am (he shaved his mustache and looks about 12). I don’t think that makes him a bad doctor. I think it just makes me feel old.

    I also like my kids’ pediatrician as he was very good at explaining things to me and good at interacting with my girls. Sadly he’s retiring and we need to find another.

    I know people who have doctors they don’t like and just complain about them. It makes it difficult for them to be effectively treated for whatever ails them.

  4. Liking your doctor *does* make a huge difference! I have always found that it is good to have a doctor who actually listens to your concerns. You know your body better than anyone.

    My doctor switched over to sports medicine a couple of years ago. I still haven’t found a replacement. 🙁

    “So who cares if I like my doctor, right? I care. You have to decide to take action after leaving your doctor’s office, to try and manage the things YOU can control. ”

    Yes! Yes! 10000 times yes!

    Great post! I am so glad that you have your medical dream team and that you feel encouraged to continue with your weight loss!!

    ~ Kellie

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