July 30, 2014
This notion was engrained in us starting in our first year of medical school. I don’t know that we truly understood what that meant. That was true in general our first year of medical school. We learned a lot of philosophy of medicine that as a student didn’t seem applicable to practicing medicine. For me, doctor as teacher makes it’s way into my practice on a daily basis. My biggest goal is to get patients feeling healthy enough that they only need check-ins every now and then. For some patients, that takes one visit, and for others it can take years. I often tell people that if your health issues have been going on for years or most of your life, it’s going to take us some time to sort through it and find the root of the problem.
While we are sorting through it, education becomes key. I’ve said before that at least 75% of the ailments I see are rooted in stress in some capacity. So I spend a lot of time on stress reduction. I spend time on healthy eating. And I spend time explaining and interpreting labs for patients to grasp and understanding how we are trying to correct them. I get to use my biochemistry background to put the pieces together. I occasionally use health issues from my own life to make health more understandable.And while I feel much of what I teach is rooted in science, there is always a bit of the spiritual. Sometimes as I’m trying to help figure out what is going on for my patients, my gut will also guide me. And I do listen, as I find that a little science and a little gut instinct seem to go along way towards health. The beauty is that patients often have much to teach me along the way, and I find myself grateful for the lessons on life, healing, and compassion that I get regularly from my patients.
What things do you wish your doctor was more of a teacher about with you?