Image by Alex E. Proimos
I have a great deal of respect for doctors. Many of them go through long years of school with an end goal of helping others. However, there is also many common misconceptions and stereotypes that surround the profession. It is important to keep in mind that your healthcare is in your own hands. Below you will find three statements I have heard often that are not all true.
“He went to medical school – you should believe everything he says!”
False. Your doc is just as human as you are. They went to school to learn just like your lawyer, boss, or your electrician. Do you hesitate to question them if you don”t feel right with their decision? It”s alright to value their knowledge and place some amount of trust them – in an emergency situation you will likely place your life in their hands quickly. However, that should never cross over to a point where you don”t feel as if you can not question the care you are receiving. Your doctors profession is a service to you – and you can question that service.
“My doctor will not give me medication that isn”t safe. I can trust them!”
False. There are two major points to consider here. First, keep in mind the human aspect. If something doesn”t seem right to you with a medication you are given – question it! Something most certainly could have been lost in translation. An allergy, conflicting symptom, stray paper in a chart. It is very easy for something to slip through the cracks.
Second, your definition of safe and that of your doctors could be two very different things. While she may consider it safe as long as the FDA says so – you might have higher standards for what goes into your body. If your breastfeeding, pregnant, or trying to conceive soon this may be especially true for you. Make sure you are on the same page with what you are comfortable with and do your own research. For example, most doctors consider antibiotics safe and the go to solution for a long list of problems. However, with all the controversy you might prefer more natural alternatives.
Understand that it IS alright for you to not agree with a treatment. I”ve gone to my doctor before with the purpose of getting a diagnosis so that I could go home and treat things myself. Make sure that you form a relationship with your doctor that allows you to both reach your goals.
“My doctor told me —–, so I HAVE to do it.”
While at times it seems to be in question the ball is in your court when it comes to your health care. You should never feel you have to take a medication, have a procedure or consent to any treatment that you don”t feel is in your best interest. Know your rights. Know what papers your signing. Never be afraid to not make a decision until you feel it is completely informed – even if that means doing research yourself. There are many medical procedures that you can always come back to if you decide you want to – but that you can”t take back after they are done.