All too often, you spend a lot of your time and money working with one doctor before realizing that she doesn’t have the information needed to get you healthy.
Let me show you how to find an amazing doctor. One who will work with you to eliminate your fatigue for good.
I’ve broken this article into two parts. This article (the first part) deals with conventional medical doctors. The second part deals with natural health practitioners. In these two articles, I’ll show you how to find a great doctor and/or natural health practitioner to work with you in overcoming chronic fatigue!
If you’re like most of my readers, you’ve seen more than five different doctors/practitioners in hopes of overcoming your fatigue. Most of the time, you leave the doctor’s office feeling disenchanted. Hopeless.
Why don’t doctors seem to get it?
Why is it so challenging to find a doctor that’s invested in your health?
The reason why so many doctors struggle to treat illnesses like chronic fatigue is that the doctors themselves are barely able to make it through the day. I’ll show you why below!
There are two types of doctors in this world…
These two types of doctor are:
- Comfortable doctors
- Eager doctors
Comfortable doctors are happy where they’re at. Comfortable doctors have little drive to learn more. Their knowledge is based on what was learned in medical school. Furthering their education to better understand complex patients like you is not on their to-do list.
Comfortable doctors want to practice with as little effort as possible. Comfortable doctors are the ones who get angry at you when you challenge their opinions or when you seek alternative medical advice. You’ll never overcome CFS or any other chronic illness under the care of a comfortable doctor
Eager doctors are lifelong students. These doctors will often have a special interest in a particular disease or illness. But since they keep up on the latest research their breadth of medical knowledge spans many different domains.
Eager doctors love when you bring in new information. Eager doctors don’t dictate what you should do. Eager doctors lend a compassionate ear and consider themselves advisors to your complex case.
When dealing with a complex illness like chronic fatigue syndrome, you need an engaged doctor. Comfortable doctors won’t do the heavy lifting required to help you get better.
Don’t worry if you can’t find an eager doctor. It’s possible for you to help reignite your comfortable doctor’s passion to practice medicine. To start, allow me to give you a brief look into her life.
A glimpse into the life of a doctor
Your doctor wasn’t born an irritable, apathetic dictator. I’m confident that early in her educational career she was an eager student who wanted nothing more than to help others. But along the journey from student to doctor that care, empathy, and understanding got lost.
The majority of her life as a young adult was spent studying medicine. She neglected her familial relationships and any other personal growth opportunities outside of medical study. If she had kids while in medical school – as many do – she missed watching them grow up and many of their milestones.
Grey’s Anatomy does not paint a picture of what it’s actually like to be a doctor. It’s not anywhere as close to being as romantic as television portrays.
Before and during medical school, your doctor’s impression of what being a doctor is like was influenced by television. Once she actually started practicing, she probably experienced a rude awakening. She had to practice within the confines of a broken system.
Imagine dedicating almost every waking hour of your life for ten years to obtaining a particular job. A job that you think will be your dream job. Only to quickly realize that you hate this job. It’s not at all like you had envisioned.
But you have student loans to pay, kids to raise, a mortgage to cover. And the thought of thinking the past ten years were a waste is anything but comforting.
This is your doctor.
Disenchanted. Over-worked. Verging on burnout. She just doesn’t have the capacity to do her best.
Instead of finding the best way for you to get better, she focuses on the least bad way for you to get better. This often results in a prescription for an antidepressant.
You leave her office frustrated. Thinking she sucks. She’s doing the best she can. She’s forced to practice in a way that’s not conducive to the health of both you, the patient, and her, the practitioner.
The path of a doctor is not an easy path to walk on.
If this was you, would you have any energy left over to research complex cases?
Don’t make the wrong decision
Like you, your doctor is human. Which means she’s going to make mistakes. In the context of medicine, mistakes can have dire consequences.
Do not accept your doctor’s recommendations blindly. It takes one small mistake for you to end up with a long list of life-changing effects.
If your doctor gives you bad advice, who ends up suffering the consequences?
I’ll give you a hint. It’s not her.
You are the one who will be forced to bear the consequences of her bad advice. You are not at your appointment to befriend your doctor. If her recommendation strikes you as odd, do your research before committing to treatment.
How the doctor-patient relationship should look
Most doctor-patient relationships resemble a dictatorship. The doctor tells you what to do and you do it. Questions are not welcome.
If you feel the relationship you have with your doctor resembles that of a dictatorship, you’re likely dealing with a comfortable doctor. Remember, you’re not looking for a comfortable doctor. You want an eager doctor. Eager doctors are more likely to form an allegiance with you and your network of allied healthcare professionals.
Ideally, you should be combining the advice of your doctor with the advice of your allied healthcare team (chiropractor, osteopath, massage therapist, etc.) and your own intuition. An eager doctor will welcome the collaborative relationship and appreciate the multiple points of view offered by different disciplines.
For you as a patient, having multiple points of view will be most effective in helping you regain your health. Especially in complex illnesses like chronic fatigue syndrome.
How to get your doctor on your team
If you have an eager doctor, she’s already on your team. There’s nothing more you have to do. But if you have a comfortable doctor, you’re going to have to work to get her on your team.
Below, I list 3 steps to help get a comfortable doctor working with you.
- Make requests, not demands.
- Do your research
- Go slow
Make requests, not demands
No one likes to be told what to do. This goes doubly for doctors. Your doctor spent the better part of her adult life studying medicine. She knows a lot.
If you think she’s missing something in your blood work or treatment, kindly ask for more information regarding the lab test or treatment in question. Remember, your goal is to get your doctor on your side. Demands are adversarial. Requests build allegiance.
Do your research
Just because your neighbor/friend/aunt/etc. told you that the Epstein-Barr Virus causes chronic fatigue syndrome doesn’t make it true. Your friend, neighbor, and aunt are not responsible for their information.
They might obtain this information from a commercial, a newspaper article, or just overheard it while standing in a line. Either way, the information they provided you is likely not confirmed by any reputable source.
Before bringing this information to your doctor, do your research. Check reputable websites like PubMed. Make sure the information you’re bringing to your doctor is more than just the opinion of a friend.
Doctors like research and data. If you want your doctor on your side, you need to do the heavy lifting in the research department.
Your doctor has a lot on her plate. She’s overworked. She probably hasn’t been on a proper vacation in a long while. And she’s only got ten minutes to spend with you before moving on to her next patient.
If you want her on your side, avoid overwhelming her. This means presenting one request per appointment. I know, it’s agonizingly slow.
If you go into your appointment with a stack of research papers and a list of ten demands, you’re going to get a disengaged doc. It’s too much too soon. Go slow. One request and research paper at a time.
Why your doctor might never be on your team
The unfortunate truth is that your doctor might never be on your team. Blame the system. Not your doctor. The system prefers doctors who do as they’re told to doctors that have opinions.
A doctor that prescribes an antidepressant to her patient with chronic fatigue syndrome will never be questioned. A doctor that gives her type-2 diabetic patient insulin and metformin (a medicine for diabetes) will never get in trouble.
A doctor that recommends her chronic fatigue patient to get off the antidepressant medication and start changing her diet will set off alarm bells. A doctor that recommends a ketogenic diet to a diabetic patient could actually lose her medical license.
This is the reality facing doctors today. Even if your doctor wants to go above and beyond to help you, her hands may be tied. As crazy as it seems, even recommendations like following a ketogenic diet are considered heresy by the medical establishment.
When you reach the point where conventional medicine cannot help, most patients then turn to natural health practitioners. But natural health practices are far from a panacea. Your natural health practitioner could be as biased as your medical doctor.
While we’re waiting, I’d love to hear from you!
What strategies have you utilized to get your doctor on your team?
Be sure to leave your answers in the comments section below!