Wednesday, October 04, 2006

A Thought on Instincts and Doctors

As a culture, we are growing increasingly dependant on doctors. Somehow the doctor’s role has been upgraded from that of a good addition to a society to that of the Almighty Physician who can cure all our ills. What ever happened to trusting our own built-in instincts in the matter of our health? It’s even gotten to the point where most of us have stopped trusting our own instincts because we feel we need the doctor’s approval to take care of our health and that of our families.

There have been several times when something has happened to one of my family members and I had a gut feeling about it, but I decided to call the doctor “just in case” and go through the hassle of setting up an appointment and waiting around at the doctor’s office only to hear the doctor tell me to do exactly what I was going to do anyway.

Another option for those times when even the most intuitive person is stumped, is to ask a more experienced person for advice. So the next time one of your kids develops a strange rash why not call your mom to see if she ever had a similar experience with you or your siblings? Or perhaps an older woman in your church? Maybe a wise next door neighbor? Obviously, if someone is injured waste no time calling relatives and get that person medical attention. But do we really need to call the doctor at the drop of a hat?

To be clear, I’m not a doctor hater. I am very pleased with my family doctor and there are a couple of medical professionals in my church whose opinions (and friendships) I value highly. The medical field serves us well and we should be grateful for the care we receive from it. But let’s make sure that medicine is serving us and we aren’t idolizing it. God gave us humans the amazing ability to understand our own bodies. Yes, sometimes we do need the aid and wisdom of a highly trained physician, but does that have to be our first and only option? Wouldn’t you rather hear from a friend, “Oh, I remember when my kids had a rash like that. This is what I did...” or from the doctor, “Here’s your prescription. That will cost you...”

Anyway, this is just a thought.

1 comment:

Carrie said...

I have been to more doctors than is really appropriate for someone my age. I have been to doctors who have honestly cared about me, doctors who have only pretended to care about me, doctors who have obviously not cared about me, and doctors who have seemed to down right hate me. (Hate is a strong word. I do not use it lightly.)

I have found that the best doctors are the ones who want to know your instincts and who will, at certain times, rely solely on your instincts.

Note: Most doctors will ask you questions, but they only do so to hear themselves talk. The best doctors wil let you just...talk.