Doctor-Patient Relationship: Not what It Should Feel Like? 7 Red Flags

Do you feel your doctor-patient relationship isn’t what it ought to be?

… To the point you hesitate to ask for clarifications during a conversation with your physician?

The quality of a doctor-patient relationship is crucial to the return of a patient to health in the shortest possible time. In this video, Dr Vikki talks about being your own health advocate, and how to improve this aspect of your health plan.

She also discusses the red flags to watch out for if you feel your health care provider isn’t listening enough and giving you the information you need. A rich, satisfying doctor-patient relationship will nurture communication and as a result, a better personal health plan.


Transcript of the video

Ask questions or… bring a friend

Become Your Own Health Advocate – What to do when your doctor doesn’t “get it”In our current healthcare system, it is very important to be your own health advocate. Now, if you are comfortable being kind of “aggressive” and asking questions with your doctor, then terrific!

But if you’re not, and if you’re not that type of personality, then bring that personality with you to the doctor’s office.

It is always a good idea anyway when you’re listening to your doctor talk about your condition and hearing recommendations. I always say four ears are better than two. Bring that person who has that personality that you need if it’s not inherently your own.

It’s excellent to have two people listening because they’ll hear more things. If you’re not comfortable again asking questions, then bring a friend. It’s absolutely a good idea. You’ll get more data.

I can’t tell you how many patients say: “Yeah, I went to see my gastroenterologist, I have actually absolutely no idea what he said other than: here’s your prescription for the antacid”. And that’s about all they glean from it, which is not what you need. You need to be empowered by the information that you’re learning.

The second thing I want to go over is 7 tips that are red flags. If you observe any of these red flags in your doctor-patient relationship, it’s very important to find a new clinician quickly because these are, in the vast majority, untrue.

#1 – There’s no cause

“Yes, Mary, you have an autoimmune disease. Yes, you have fatigue. There’s really no cause for autoimmune disease. There’s really no cause for fatigue, migraines, you just have to live with it. We have to give you these drugs and that’s all we know. That’s all we can do for you.”

Is this the best your doctor-patient relationship could be? Is this the level of trust, empathy, and caring information you expect to receive when discussing intimate issues with your physician?

#2 – It’s likely due to stress

Stress Adrenal Glands - A healthy Patient-Doctor Relationship helps sorting out the questionsNow, that’s not to say that stress doesn’t cause a lot of conditions. It does, but in the example, I’m trying to give you, this is code for “Mary, it’s all in your head“.

Way too many patients come to see us who say: “I’m just so tired of doctors keep giving me psychiatric medication, anti-anxiety antidepressants. Because they say, ‘Listen, there’s nothing wrong with you. We can find nothing wrong with you, therefore it must be all in your head, nicely quoted as you’re under a lot of stress. Here’s your psychiatric medication'”.

Again, stress management is very important, but way too often this has nothing to do with why you’re suffering. They’re just not digging deep enough to find that root cause. A healthy doctor-patient relationship would lead to looking into this root cause.

#3 – It’s just bad luck

doctor-patient relationship is key to determine the root cause to a dis-ease “You know, some people get this, some people suffer from migraines, some people have autoimmune disease. Some people get diabetes. You know, it’s just kind of bad luck. You know it’s too bad”. Utter nonsense.

Unless you were skiing and somebody hit into you and you broke your leg, then the diagnosis of broken leg due to bad luck… we can go with that.

But I’m talking about the chronic degenerative diseases that are actually killing us as Americans. Then no, bad luck has nothing to do with it. [If your physician chalks it up to “bad luck”, your doctor-patient relationship isn’t where it should be.]

#4 – It’s in your family

Since it’s in your family, you know, a lot of women in your family have thyroid disease. A lot of the men have heart disease. Diabetes is in your family.” I’m talking about type two diabetes. Diabetes.

For me, I had migraines. My mother had migraines. “Therefore”, it was “destined” apparently that I was to have migraines. That’s not the case. Even with things like Alzheimer’s, there is a genetic component.

It’s a really, it’s a really small percentage that we’re talking about. Genetics are real, they are a predisposing factor, as I like to say. But if we work hard enough to counter that predisposition, you don’t have to be stuck with any of these diseases.

[Working “hard enough” to be effective in your treatment is what a good doctor-patient relationship should feel like].

#5 – A drug is the only thing we can offer you

Pill popping is not the sign of a great doctor-patient relationshipAll we can do is manage your symptoms with a drug, here. Your migraine, here’s a pain reliever. Your acid reflux, here’s an antacid“, etc, etc, etc.

And again, not to say that initially we don’t use medications as well when someone’s in sort of a life-threatening kind of situation.

But the truth of the matter is when you have the kind of tools… If you think about how the body works and the fact that it has an amazing in its ability to repair itself, you want to look for what is compromising your body’s ability to self-heal.

When you analyze that — that’s where the extra testing or sensitive testing comes in, where we can say: “What really is this root cause?” — when we get to that deeper root cause, we’re able to wean that person off the medication because they literally don’t need it anymore.

I love that because now we’ve restored function to the body and the body is working on its own, as it should be. We see this all the time with antacids, which are very, very common. With blood pressure medication, which people are told they’ll be on for life. With cholesterol medication… With diabetes medication…

These conditions are all reversible if you’re willing to do some lifestyle and dietary change, which is very exciting because in the long-term, all of these conditions lead to more and more trouble.

Same thing for the drugs that physicians tend to give, because these drugs have side-effects.  A great doctor-patient relationship will bring about that restoration.

#6 – It has nothing to do with what you eat

You know, the fact that you have IBS. “Yeah, it really isn’t too dietary-related”. Or the fact that you have the antacid: “… Are you eating, like, hot chili peppers every meal? Oh, okay. Well, if you’re not, then it probably has nothing to do with your diet“.

Food has everything to do with pretty much everything. I know that’s a very blanket statement; but think about it. How are you fueling your cells? How are you telling them what to do and whether to be pro-inflammatory or anti-inflammatory?

It’s what you’re putting in your mouth. Food has everything to do with most conditions other than that broken leg we talked about earlier.

If you can’t discuss nutrition on a deep-enough level with your physician, there is a problem in your doctor-patient relationship because your gastro-intestinal health is absolutely central to your overall health.

#7 – You are overweight

"You are overweight" is not the only answer a good doctor-patient relationship should bringNow again, there’s a lot of truth to the fact that overweight and obesity do lend us toward and move us towards certain diseases. There’s no arguing with that. But the next sentence is the causes because you’re overweight, eat less, exercise more.

Again, if you’re overeating calories in a very big way… Sure, exercise great, but there are plenty of people who can’t shed a pound and they’re not over-eating and they actually are exercising quite a bit. What do you say to those people? This is not a blanket answer.

The body will gain weight and will hold onto that weight for a lot of different reasons. Gut hormones, chief amongst them. You have to find out why the body is in this hold mode and it’s not wanting to burn calories.

Again, this is why you ought to have a healthy doctor-patient relationship, in the framework of which all issues can be discussed in depth between the physician and the patient to find the root cause of the trouble you feel.

A healthy doctor-patient relationship is vital

healthy doctor-patient-relationshipI hope these were helpful tips for you if you want to get more data and say, “I’m actually sick of hearing these things from my doctor, but you know, I’ve just sort of gone into apathy about the whole thing, thinking that there’s, there truly is no option.”

There pretty much always is an option. And that’s what we do here at Root Cause Medical Clinic. Our medical team approaches your health from the viewpoint that there is a root cause behind any dis-ease, any malfunction of an organ or system.

We nurture the healthy doctor-patient relationship you expect, in order to get to the root cause and find the right treatment to return you to health.

We offer you a complimentary consultation, send you in the right direction, and really give you the data you need. Our medical clinic is located in downtown Clearwater, at the corner of S Fort Harrison and Magnolia.

If coming to our medical clinic for a consultation is difficult for you, we also offer telemedicine consultations for residents of a number of states. Call our offices for further information.

Refuse to settle for a dry, sterile doctor-patient relationship based on academic authority with no regard for your need for understanding and informed consent. This will not produce good results in terms of your return to health and removing medication dependencies whenever possible. 

Additional resources
The Doctor-Patient Relationship
Meet the Doctors and Staff of Root Cause Medical Clinic

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