Health is not a commodity. Risk factors are not disease. Aging is not an illness. To fix a problem is easy, to sit with another suffering is hard. Doing all we can is not the same as doing what we should. Quality is more than metrics. Patients cannot see outside their pain, we cannot see in, relationship is the only bridge between. Time is precious; we spend it on what we value. The most common condition we treat is unhappiness. And the greatest obstacle to treating a patient’s unhappiness is our own. Nothing is more patient-centered than the process of change. Doctors expect too much from data and not enough from conversation. Community is a locus of healing, not the hospital or the clinic. The foundation of medicine is friendship, conversation, and hope.
Dr. David Loxtercamp
Often in our lives, we require the help of others. Physical and mental discomfort often have us seeking help from licensed professionals: acupuncturists, doctors, counselors, physical therapists, surgeons, etc.
What can we do if we feel we’re not getting the best from our chosen health professional?
The average wait time to get an appointment for a dermatologist or orthopedic specialist in the United States tops several months. Once you get in the doctor’s office, the average wait time to see your chosen doctor is over twenty minutes. And after getting inside the treatment room, a large majority of primary care physicians spend far less than fifteen minutes with their patients.
It’s not news that our healthcare system needs considerable refinement. People would ideally be spending more time caring for themselves and less time managing how they are cared for—spending time constantly on the phone with insurance companies and medical receptionists. With all this waiting for medical service, along with the increasing exposure to toxins in our food supply and environment and the outcropping of newer and more chronic diseases, the frustrations that many people endure is quite understandable.
Until our systems are drastically different, it’s up to each person, family, friend, and loved one to help choose your healthcare professionals wisely. If you aren’t satisfied with how your doctor responds to the following considerations, it might be time to find someone more aligned with your goals for optimal health and wellness.
Considerations on Choosing a Doctor
- Can they be reached after hours?
- What are their success rates?
- What can you expect from treatment?
- Will there be side effects?
- What is the likelihood a therapy will need to be repeated?
- How long until improvement?
- Will they listen to your every question?
- Do they look you in the eye when talking to you?
- Do they respond supportively if you question their judgment?
Please let us know in the comments below if you’ve discovered other things to consider that have helped you construct the best healthcare team.
Jason Moskovitz, L.Ac., Dipl.O.M. is the author of Arthritis: Secrets of Natural Healing. Jason is a board-licensed acupuncturist, national diplomate of oriental medicine, herbal physician, nutritional counselor, and Tai Chi instructor at Tao Of Wellness. He has administered thousands of successful treatments in areas of women’s health, infertility, elder care, and joint pain. Jason teaches his patients how to embrace their ever-changing condition and all the ways in which the body can heal itself. Connect with Tao Of Wellness on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
*Photo by Mercy Health.