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10 Things We Do That Drive Our Doctors Crazy
One of the best things about the internet is having access to information quickly. Just type in any medical symptom you might be having into any browser and you will have pages and pages worth of reading involving the possible causes, possible cures, and possible complications. You could have anything from the common cold to bone cancer!
However, calling your local doctor because you are sure that this headache you have is a sure sign of a brain tumor, not only adds fuel to anxiety’s fire, wastes valuable time, and, to be completely honest, bugs the heck out of your doctor!
Information should never be confused with knowledge. Too many people are unaware that information does not mean the same thing as understanding, objectivity, balance, and/or interpretation of the facts.
Of course, our annoying self-diagnosis isn’t the only thing that bugs our doctors. Check out our list of the biggest pet peeves doctors and nurses have. Don’t laugh; one of them is probably you!
1. “I know this is what I have, I Googled it.”
Doctors have come to loath our access to google. Our tendency is to believe that, after 45 minutes reading something on the internet is the same thing as going to medical school for 8 years, not to mention, years and years of experience. Americans think that access to information is the same thing as understanding and that can be a very dangerous mistake when you are talking about your health.
2.“I can keep smoking as long as I exercise, right?”
You might not believe it, but doctors say they hear this almost every day from their patients who smoke. Smoking affects much more than just the lungs, it affects everything in the body. Some people try to compensate for their smoking by exercising or eating right, but they continue to smoke mistakenly believing that this means they won’t have to quit. Nothing can make up for the negative impact of smoking. Nothing.
3. “I refuse to vaccinate my children.”
This is an extremely disturbing trend. For some reason, people have become convinced that vaccinations are no longer necessary or that they somehow cause more harm than good. The science behind vaccinations is quite clear, however. Vaccines are extremely safe and they save lives. Since people have been on the “anti-vaccination” train, there has been an increase in disease in the US that could have been prevented with vaccines. These diseases can cause anything from severe illness to death. Vaccines have, unfortunately, become a victim of their own success. They have been super successful at preventing these devastating infections to the point that people no longer remember life before vaccinations.
4. “I don’t have time for this.”
Unfortunately, this is a bad habit many people have. About 48 hours or so before they leave for vacation or before a big event (such as a wedding), they call to say that they are having chest pains or shortness of breath. They try to tell the doctor that they can only come in a certain day and/or time because they have so many things to do. If you ask them when these symptoms started or how long they have been having these symptoms, they say two weeks or the last few months. Doctors don’t have a magic wand and sometimes tests need to be run. Make the time when you don’t feel well or are having possibly dangerous signs from your body.
5. “I only eat a low fat diet.”
Many overweight people tell their doctors that they are on a diet, and that they only eat low fat. There is no magic that a low fat diet will help you to lose weight. Stop being so afraid of fat and try going on a low sugar diet instead.
6. “I need a quick fix.”
Unfortunately, too many people think that there must be a magic pill or a fad diet, or something that will change everything in their lives. When you try to explain to them that long term lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise will help most of their concerns, they rarely listen. Doctors usually find that they return a few months later saying that the supplement they tried didn’t work and do we have a quick fix for their problems. They are like a broken record.
7. “I’m eating less and exercising more, but I can’t lose weight.”
It’s not the so much the quantity of the calories, but the quality. Read more why you can’t lose weight.
8. “You have to give me antibiotics.”
Too many patients go to their doctor with a cold or flu and think they are going to walk out with a prescription for antibiotics. The overuse of antibiotics has very clearly contributed to the global problem we are having with super bugs, which are highly resistant to antibiotics. If antibiotics are warranted, of course, your doctor will write a prescription, otherwise, the answer is no.
9. “I never eat carbs.”
Doctors get tired of hearing patients demonize an entire food group as “bad”. Whether it is sugar, fats, or carbs. There are good and bad components in every food, so it would be much smarter to eat a bit of everything in moderation, rather than label foods in such black and white terms as “good” or “bad”.
10. “I can’t do that.”
Coming to the doctor because you have a problem or an issue, and then failing to take either the medication or the advice is a waste of everyone’s time and money. Doctors take your health seriously and only prescribe medicine when they believe it will actually help you. Why do you think your doctor takes the time to counsel you on your diet or other lifestyle choices? Do you seriously think he has nothing better to do? If you aren’t going to listen to your doctor, then don’t waste everyone’s time.