One of the best books I’ve read is Jerome Groopman’s “How Doctor’s Think”. It’s great to get an insider’s view about the thought process of our healthcare providers. For years we’ve gone to doctors as the only definitive answer to answering our health questions. Doctors provided us with their “expert” opinion and followed their recommendations. For some it may be a big frightening to look behind the veil of certainty and see doctors and human beings.
What does that mean? It means that doctors deal with uncertainty. There are medical questions they can’t answer and sometimes their opinion is a guess. That part I don’t mind as long as the doctor presents the information in the context of “I think” or “this may be happening” as opposed to “this is definitive”.
My experience with doctors and other healthcare providers is that when they seem more human, meaning they aren’t so stoic and righteous, I’m able to accept and hear their opinion without judgment or skepticism. I can listen to the doctors thoughts and treatment plan and feel comfortable asking questions or even offering suggestions.
This is one of the changes in our modern day medical world, patients have become highly educated. Many people walk in to their medical appointment with folders of information they have poured over looking for the best treatments and the best outcomes. Some doctors are welcoming this newly informed patient with open arms and those are the medical personnel I want to partner with because feeling a part of my care provides buy-in on my part making more likely to be compliant and have a positive attitude about the outcome.
We all have an understanding of the type of medical professional we’ll work best with, so don’t disregard the all knowing physician if that’s what you need. I just don’t want you to be disappointed if they don’t hold every answer to every question with only positive results. Doctors can only make decisions based on their experience up to this moment, their involvement in continuing education and listening with an open heart to what their patients are sharing. This is a new model of medicine but I believe we’ll all be healthier because of it.