Over the past few years I have had plenty of reasons to head to the doctor. I love my team, they are fantastic. However, because of this, a dear friend of mine said she had “doctor envy”. She simply could not find good doctors in her area.
Remember that old song, “the head bone’s connected to the neck bone…” We all deserve the best of the best; a doctor who treats the whole person and doesn’t just treat the symptoms indicative of their specialty. A doctor who is not afraid to recommend something a bit unconventional? My recent experience with appendicitis is a good example. I had pain in November, but first thought it was an ovary issue, so I consulted my ob/gyn. He said, perhaps yes, but thought the real issue was my appendix. However, despite confirmation that this was indeed so, he suggested that as it seemed to have “walled off” (a term that means calming down and maybe not in need of surgery), he recommended I present my case to the surgeon that maybe my appendix could remain where it was. Turns out, I didn’t have to make my case; the surgeon felt the same way. He warned me that this could come back, and that I had the option of “wait and see” or even schedule surgery on my schedule, not via the emergency room. I choose to wait. As it turns out, my appendix did act up again, five months later, and I did have it removed. However, it was so refreshing to hear a surgeon say,” ah, let’s wait. I’d hate to perform unnecessary surgery on you.” Keep in mind, it was my choice; I like choices and options….it’s what I rant about all day. But what if it never did act up? Apparently this happens more often than we think. By the way, did you know that it costs 27K to have your appendix out? Unnecessary surgery adds to our health care crisis, and is terribly inconvenient for the patient. Was he taking a chance? Sure, but I appreciate that he went out on a limb to do the best thing for me. (I will add that he gave me his cell phone number and said to call him, day or night if I had concern.) Another example is last years’ relentless cough, lasted six months. Lung guy spent 45 minutes getting my history. Thought it was asthma as it presented as so. However, tests proved otherwise, so off I went. I liked him, he really took the time to talk about the whole-me, not just the cough. Then I headed to the GI doc, ten minutes later, he said GERD. I didn’t agree, and I refused the medications. Then I called my oncologist. He said he wasn’t so concerned with the cough. Get rid of the inflammation, he said, and the cough will go away. Yup, you see, the symptoms are not the problem. He upped my anti-inflammatory foods and wouldn’t you know it, cough was gone in six days. Treating the patient, not the symptoms; it’s a beautiful thing.
Do you have a doctor you adore, someone integrative who thinks outside the box? Maybe that ob/gyn who guides you through your appendicitis or that oncologist who clears up non-cancer related inflammation in your chest? I know firsthand what a difference a go-to doctor makes in our pursuit of wellness. If you have a doctor who takes your calls, cares about you as a person, a friend, and understands that symptoms are informative, but not the problem, I’d love to hear from you. I am compiling a list of “The Best of the Best”. If this describes your doctor, please send me your recommendation. The Best of the Best includes doctors who turn to the prescription pad last; doctors who treat the whole person, not just the symptoms. The BOTB is a doc who worries about you, trusts your instinct and judgment. The BOTB is someone you’d confide in, trust and partner with in your care. I know how hard it is for doctors these days….between low reimbursements to malpractice insurance, I get it. In many areas, doctors have a mere 15 minutes per patient. What I am looking for is doctors who have truly made a difference; those docs that go the extra mile, when they can. I know there are sites that have done this, but this list of doctors will be based on what YOU think, driven by patients, not peers. I will be compiling this list on an on-going basis, and will present it on my website, www.elynjacobs.wordpress.com. Send me a comment via the contact box or send me an email. Please include your doctors’ name, location, phone number, and area of expertise as well as a brief recommendation. Let’s put an end to “doctor envy”.
I have a particular request for an integrative-minded Gyn in the North/Northwest suburbs of Chicago.
Thank you all! I look forward to hearing about your fantastic doctors!
Elyn Jacobs is a breast cancer survivor, professional cancer coach, radio talk show host, speaker, and the Executive Director for the Emerald Heart Cancer Foundation. Elyn empowers women to choose the path for treatment that best fits their own individual needs. She is passionate about helping others move forward into a life of health and wellbeing. To learn more about Elyn’s coaching services, please visit: http://elynjacobs.wordpress.com. To tune into the Survive and Live Well radio show, please visit www.W4CS.com, Tuesdays at 1pm (est).