I’ve begun to clearly see the difference between the average medical doctor (family doctor) versus a functional doctor. The more I read and attend seminars on functional medicine, the more I see that they are here to truly help a patient. Functional doctors delve deep into health issues, ask so many questions, and really care about the patient. Their goal is to help cure you of your ailments. Medical doctors are supported by the pharma industry, have daily quotas to fill in regards to how many patients they see (and likely how many prescriptions they give out) and ensure they don’t see you for more than 10 minutes. I’ve become so frustrated with the medical system – I don’t care to see my family doctor anymore. Sure it’s free in Canada, but you get what you pay for – I can guarantee that. My doctor rushes into the room, asks me whats wrong, asks the basic questions, quickly fills out any prescription forms, and runs out of the room. I feel like I can’t get a word in edge wise.
How I feel about medical doctors is best understood by this sign in her office. Am I supposed to have faith that you actually care how I feel when your sign clearly tells me that you want me to keep coming back for another appointment. Another appointment you get paid for. And I know you aren’t doing any of those items on the list because my appointments never last longer than 5 minutes. If you truly cared about me, your patient, you would sit and listen to what I have to say and take the time and care to help me.
After attending a seminar just over a week ago with a functional doctor, I decided to make an appointment with my family doctor to get my thyroid levels checked out. I booked an appointment, and went in equipped with all of the knowledge I gathered, including my thyroid book.
I sat down with my doctor and told her I haven’t had my levels checked in a while so she asked me the generic questions – have you gained or lost any weight recently without trying? Are you more or less tired than usual? Luckily, I am able to answer no to both. However, this automatically gives off the idea everything is just fine with my medication. So I’m sure in her head the first thing that she thought was there is no point in even getting blood work done.
I then proceeded to tell her that I want to get my levels tested because I heard that gluten is bad for the thyroid and that I’ve gone gluten free. I was barely even able to get the words out of my mouth before she cut me off, adamantly telling me that gluten has nothing to do with it. In which I told her I’ve read tons of information proving otherwise. I then continued to ask about my birth control pills. She adamantly denied that as well, meanwhile I’ve heard and read pharmacists say they won’t even touch the stuff.
If the most important question one could ask their doctor is “what is your definition of health” – clearly me and my doctor have a different point of view.
I asked my doctor if I could get a few different levels checked that aren’t the basic TSH and T4. I swear to you – she straight up told me that it was stupid to get any other levels checked. I told her it didn’t matter and I wanted to check out all these levels so that I could review them and get a better handle on my own health. This she replied with a laugh and told me it was a waste of time. My only response I could even ask was “if you aren’t going to help me and let me get these levels checked, then tell me who I can go to in order to get this done” – she filled out the forms for me. I am glad that for a moment in my life I was actually assertive to get what I wanted.
As I’ve been going through the journey of changing my diet and looking at nutrition in a healing form, I’ve understood that a lot of people may not believe in it. However, when I go to my doctor I would really like to think she has my best interests in mind. Through the entire 8 minute appointment (yippee more than 5 minutes!) she laughed at me. She laughed at what I was saying. She laughed at what I was asking. She laughed and told me that everything I wanted checked was a total waste of time. She asked me what I even planned to accomplish by doing these tests and what I would do once I got the results. She asked why I was even doing it – in which I told her it was my body, my health and my decision. Regardless, she laughed through the entire thing. I’m really beginning to rethink who my doctor is. I would rather pay to see a naturopath that has a genuine interest and concern for my health, than a doctor that thinks it’s okay to laugh at her patient as she explores different parts of her health and condition.
I went home so angry and shocked that a doctor would behave in this manner. I went home discouraged by our medical system. I went home with little faith in the person I go to in my time of need. I told a few people about my experience and they all seemed to think that my doctor wasn’t too out of place because what I am doing isn’t what they would do. Maybe it’s time that we shift how we are thinking because clearly our current medical system isn’t working. You want to trust your doctor will heal you, yet the statistics are proving otherwise! If our medical system was working properly, would these statistics exist?
In 2012, 10% of America had Diabetes – costing the system approximately $500 billion!(1)
1 in 4 deaths in America are due to heart disease (2)
1 in 8 women in America will develop a thyroid disorder (3)
1 in 5 Americans are diagnosed with arthritis (4)
It’s an epidemic. And clearly our medical system doesn’t know what to do. So maybe it’s a good thing my doctor laughed at me. Because now I know who I shouldn’t trust. All I know is, I am so happy I scheduled a naturopath appointment.