We love this blog post by Dr. Holly! Perhaps it will inspire a conversation you can have with your patients...
What would you say if I asked you who your "primary care giver” is?
Would you fumble for your insurance card, strain to remember your
doctor’s name or claim you don’t have enough money to have one? Well,
let me cut to the chase: aren’t YOU really supposed to be primarily in charge of taking care of yourself? Huh..huh?? Well…..AREN’T you? Uh huh….I though you might agree with me.
It makes sense, doesn’t it? Still, countless times after I finish a
lecture and there is a period of Q & A, I will have someone ask me
what I think about this or that, usually it is a medication they are
taking. You see, I have gotten wise in my time and started to catch on
to this manner of questioning so I shoot back right away and ask, "why
are you asking”? Inevitably, every time, the person asking the questions
admits to taking the medication about which they are asking. So I, in turn, ask, "well, what do you think about it?” and they say….”I don’t know, my doctor has me on it”. Here is where things get a little heated, because I get really serious and call them out, exclaiming, "WAIT! You mean to tell me that you are taking a medication that you don’t know how you feel about?!?!
Here is my point. We all have to start taking 100% responsibility for our health. Your doctor has every right to make a recommendation and prescribe anything, but after that, you are responsible for every thing that you put in your body- including (and especially) medications, what they are used for, what the side effects are, and everything else!
Here is some reframing I would like you to try when speaking about
your healthcare. Instead of saying "my doctor has me on_____”, say
"My doctor prescribed ______and I am choosing to take it.” This
ultimately empowers you as the "boss” of your body! That is what makes a
great partnership when it comes to health, but ultimately, you truly are your own primary care giver.