Who Controls Your Health?

When growing up, I thought doctors were infallible. Maybe you did too.

It wasn’t that they were perfect. But they seemed to know what to do about health problems. And they were so sure about what to prescribe. It gave you a feeling of confidence.

Ah… the good old days.

Of course today many doctors are still sure of their advice. And most of them seem confident. But as you likely know, they are not infallible. They make mistakes. And even when they give you something for your problem, it might not work. Or the side effects might be bad.

Still, it is tempting to want to trust them. After all, they have had so much training. Surely they know best?

Not always.

Now before you accuse me of doctor bashing, let me say a couple of things. First, most doctors are great. They usually care about their patients’ well being. And they have spent a huge amount of time learning their art. And of course, I am a doctor. So these thoughts come from inside the profession.

The problem comes when doctors think they know more than you about your health. You see this a lot.

Here is why this is a problem.

Your doctor relies on the symptoms you tell them. They also may run tests to get more data. Both are very useful sources of information. But no matter how good this information is, your doctor is looking at your health from the outside. He or she does not live in your body.

But you do live there. You knew enough to go to the doctor in the first place. And you are the first person to know when things change. That is first hand information. It counts.

That’s why the idea your doctor is the most important person for your health is flawed. You are the primary person affected by your health. You are the source of all of the information your doctor uses to treat you. And you are the one who has to live with the results. That makes you number one for health decisions.

Not that you shouldn’t listen to your doctor. You should. But it is better if you see them as an advisor, not a god. That way you will make your own decisions. And those decisions will be based on your own experience.

This approach empowers you. And when you have the power to influence your health, you get healthier faster. You will feel better. And if your doctor has your best interests at heart, they will be happy as well.

All the best to you for your health and happiness,

Dr. Bruce Eichelberger

Dr. Bruce

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