Americans have a long history of independence. Free thinkers are allowed their right to think and more importantly they have a right to express their thoughts. It is a wonderful thing and I feel so fortunate to be a free American.
My participation in the American health care system is voluntary. I wouldn’t enjoy it nearly as much if I was forced to practice by an outside source. Caring for patients is my choice and that makes it so much more engaging and interesting. I take pride in the fact that the people who use my services trust my decisions and take my advice. I believe that they do this because they feel that I have the education and experience to help them make good decisions about their vital being. But education and experience are only the beginning of their attraction to my services. I think that mostly it is trust in the fact that they will receive an honest answer to their health care questions. Health care is a relationship by default. Health care is different than self care. You should care for yourself. It is the most important part of the maintenance or restoration of health. But there are times when you need the knowledge, experience and healing techniques of a health professional. At these times you need to make a lot of decisions. I believe that the most vital aspect of your experience with a health care professional is your trust in the relationship.
One of the problems is that there is so much information about health care. It literally takes someone in your life to help you decide what is real, efficient, cost effective and will ultimately result in a resolution of the problem that you have. I have found through many years of practice that there are times when a health challenge leaves the patient in a compromising position. At times you may be exposed to people who have their best interest in mind rather than yours. Most health professionals are sincere and practice with the utmost integrity Chances are the person that you are working with cares about you genuinely. My wish for you is that you have a trusted relationship with your doctor that has and will last many years. But once you leave the trusted sanctuary of the doctor/patient relationship you are exposed to so many different products, potions, methods and mindsets. It seems that there is a sub culture of people who have taken it upon themselves to be self appointed experts in a variety of health related systems. Often they have had a personal experience with something that they become excited about and sometimes they simply see a chance to be in the business of health care without the education or experience to safely help a person with a health challenge. Most often these people do no harm. The problem occurs when you actually have a need for a relationship with a licensed, credentialed professional and you choose to listen to a person with limited knowledge because of their charisma and your attraction to a miracle cure.
Skepticism is healthy when it begs a question that you choose to answer inside of yourself based on knowledge that you trust. Be skeptical and honest with the answers that you receive about health care. Keep in mind that anything in extreme is unhealthy including skepticism. Don’t be caught up in negatively approaching any health idea or technique simply to question it. Question it and accept your intuitive answer. When you do not have the knowledge or experience to make a decision about your health, pay attention to your relationship with your trusted health care provider. Would your doctor give you a truthful answer to your questions about health even in the face of his/her own personal philosophy and attitudes? I do hope so. Does your doctor support your reasonable expectations for health acquisition as well as let you know when your actions are unhealthy? How about the person who offers you a health product or method for sale? What are their qualifications for the diagnosis and treatment of your condition and do they have a plan with your best interest in mind? Many of the modern day self treatment “wellness” products being sold are being offered by people with limited health care training. Most are harmless, many are helpful and some have either positive or negative effects depending on who uses them and how they are used. They are not, however, a substitute for a relationship with your trusted health care provider. Knowledge is power but trusted knowledge is truly valuable. Above all consider the motivation of the person that offers you health care. Are they educated and responsible with integrity concerning your best interest or charismatic and self serving with an agenda of their own? You are the most important person in your health care relationship so be sure to choose your relationship with a purveyor of health care carefully.