Hey guys, Dr. Lell here – your family Chiropractor serving patients from Sellwood to Oregon City. I’m not going to talk to you about a specific condition or health tip today, but I am going to give you a pretty powerful piece of advice. Ready for it? -Ask “why” more often. Though this advice can be taken with you throughout every life circumstance, I am going to frame it around your next doctor’s appointment.
Your doctor – whether he’s your specialist MD, dentist, or chiropractor – is not beyond reproach. He’s not too good to answer the question, “why?” and if he acts like he is or doesn’t take the time – then fire him and find a new doctor.
Now I’ll admit, sometimes the explanations are really dull and sometimes the answer won’t be very satisfying – but it’s important to engage your doctor this way because medical professionals aren’t perfect. The day of the 1950’s white coat of armor are gone. You as a patient have a world of information at your fingertips and it’s your job to take an active role in your health by researching, learning, and questioning. Yes, there’s a lot of garbage out there. If someone googled “Chiropractor Neck Cracking” after me telling them I was going to adjust their neck, well they will find some frightening and wrong information. But that’s why you have the doctor – to listen to your inquiries and help you sort out the good from the bad. Access to information and the power of why changes the doctor-patient dynamic from one of authority (do as I say because I’m the doctor) to more of a partnership which is – in my opinion – better.
You wouldn’t think twice about asking your plumber or mechanic “Why?”
A lot of people think, “Well he’s the doctor, certainly he knows more than I do so why bother questioning him?” Well yes, we probably know more than you about whatever it is you’re coming to see us for. But you know what? Your plumber probably knows more about pipes than you. Your mechanic probably knows more about engines than you. But it’s not odd to ask your plumber or mechanic “why?” and then ask more questions after that, is it? So why feel weird about asking your doctor the same thing? Yeah the explanation may be counterintuitive or hard to grasp, but the attempt should be made to help you understand.
Asking your doctor “why” is good for your health and your wallet.
Outside of being more informed and empowered, asking your doc “why” does two other things. It can prevent unnecessary procedures, tests, and medications and it shows that you’re not just being put through the numbers and getting the same treatment and approach like every other person today. Because I can have 5 different people, all with neck pain, and those 5 people will likely have 5 different treatment plans. Because neck pain isn’t just neck pain; every body is different and everyone deserves personalized tailored care. Asking why and getting a reasonable response shows that critical thinking was used when designing your treatment.
So the next time you’re told to “take this pill”, “get this procedure done”, or “come back x many times a week for x many weeks” – you should follow-up with “why?” What will this show? What will will this accomplish? How will this change my prognosis? You shouldn’t feel badly about asking and your doctor shouldn’t look annoyed to answer because in healthcare today, you and your doctor need to work together, side by side, to help you reach your health goals.
That’s it for today, guys! As always, drop me a question or request on Facebook. And hey! Sign up for my newsletter. If you’re wondering why you should, it’s because you’ll get some great information delivered to your inbox and a special gift as soon as you sign up. Have a good day!
Yours in Health,