Day 5 – Hey Doc, listen up!

Today is day 5 of National Health Blog Month from Wego Health. Today’s topic: Advice for new doctors and nurses (bonus prompt) 

As you probably read the other day, I’m super frustrated with my doctor. If I could tell him one thing it would be LISTEN!

My friends who were smart enough (and crazy enough) to brave med school are now starting their residences. Unfortunately none of them will ever be my rheumatologist, cause you know that would be too easy 🙂 But, my advice to them as new doctors is LISTEN.

Listen to your patients’ symptoms; don’t cut them off. I feel like I leave things out because my doctor constantly wants to tell me something about one symptom. Let me finish my thoughts.

Listen to their fears and concerns. I have concerns over how many and which medications to take, concerns over how much work I can take on or how much exercise I can handle. Please listen and offer advice, but don’t dismiss my concerns so quickly.

Listen to their questions and ideas regarding alternative treatments. For lupus patients Benlysta is the first lupus drug in 50 years and half of us can’t take it. Planquinel doesn’t do anything for me, and Cellcept was great but hellishly expensive. I’ve asked my doctors about alternative treatments such as herbs, supplements, using natural foods, acupuncture, etc. My first rheumatologist encouraged acupuncture and was supportive of going to the chiropractor to ease the pain in my shoulders and back. This current doctor isn’t. I’ve asked about certain spices I’ve read about and he ignores my questions and moves on. Some patients would rather treat their illness holistically; if you don’t do that or don’t know about it, admit that, but then help your patient find other resources or doctors who can help them.

I know it’s a balancing act for doctors, with so many patients diagnosing themselves on WebMD and other crazy internet sources. But, work through it with them. Not every patient is crazy; not every patient is irresponsible with their medication; not every patient fears the doctor. We’re on the same team; technically you’re on my team. So listen to me!

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