Should You Fire Your Doctor?

File Photo
File Photo
By Jason David

How do you know? 

I remember my days back in the corporate world (HR) that it was all but understood that roughly 25% of all employees were severely under-performing. And 10% were all but out the door and set to be fired! I also remember working with a lot of different types of people. Some were educated and smart, some were educated and, well, not so smart. Some were un-educated but smart as hell. 

Shouldn't we then assume that, even though all doctors are educated that at least a certain percentage of them just aren't very good at their job? 

In the words of the late George Carlin. 
"Somewhere in the world is the world's worst doctor. And what's truly terrifying is that someone has an appointment with him tomorrow morning".

So how do you know? 

I always see people put things on Facebook like "Should I get a Galaxy S4 or and iPhone 5"? Or "What's a good Restaurant in Traverse City"? Shouldn't we do as much research on our doctor as we do on our next smart phone purchase? I'm not necessarily saying to put it on Facebook, but did you do research on your doctor? Did your friend tell you they were "good"? What does that mean anyway? If that doctor is good for your friend does that mean he/she is good for you?
I am by no means saying to stop going to the doctor or not to trust yours - I don't however put the health of my entire family in somebody's hands without doing my own research.

Here are a list of things you may hear that should put you on high alert when visiting your doctor.  

 1. Your BMI is too high. There are people with high BMI's that are perfectly healthy and then there are people with low BMI's with elevated body fat percentages that are unhealthy. BMI is meant for populations. Not individuals. 

 2. Don't lift heavy weights. This is almost always bad advice. Find a trainer that knows what they are doing and learn to lift heavy weights. The hard part here is finding somebody that knows what they are doing. 

**Note - if the trainer/program does not include barbell training you need to look elsewhere. Assuming the goal is to get stronger. 

 3. You need to go on blood pressure medication. I once read something somewhere and it has stuck with me ever since. "Nobody has high blood pressure because they aren't on blood pressure medication". I find this hard to dispute based on logic alone. Something else is going on, find a way to fix it. Work with your doctor to do this.
**Note - if you are on BP medication please don't just stop taking it without talking to your doctor. 

 4. Your cholesterol is too high. This one is dicey...It is so ingrained in our country that elevated cholesterol is going to lead to a heart attack that this may come off as crazy talk from an internet idiot...that being said. Do your research. Google the "cholesterol myth" and start reading. Also look up the side effects of cholesterol lowering medications for additional fun. 
In short - just to keep it simple...If you are trying to lower your cholesterol through cholesterol lowering medications (statins) and removing cholesterol from your diet, you may be doing more harm than good. 

Quick personal story...
In 2007 prior to starting a regular exercise routine I had full blood work done - I was a mess. High cholesterol, elevated blood glucose, high BP, etc. I remember my doctor telling me that my cholesterol levels were dangerous and that we needed to "keep a close eye on that". I was supposed to make a follow up appointment but never did. Fast forward a few years. I had made some changes started working out and lost a lot of weight. I needed to get a physical for something and made an appointment. I had the same blood work done. My doctor (a published obesity researcher) was stunned at my lowered cholesterol levels. She asked me what I was eating and how I managed to do that - when I told her she said that the reason my cholesterol was so low was because of genetics. Um...what? What about when they were dangerously high? Did I suddenly have different genes? My diet at the time included roughly 300% of the US RDA of saturated fat and dietary cholesterol. She told me that was too much (fat). What? Why? My blood work was optimal according to her! With that - she asked me to make an appointment in 6 months but was at a loss for my blood work results coupled with my diet which included so much dietary fat! I haven't been back to her since.

5. Your arm is broken. You need to go to the ER.  Good advice. Go to the ER.
Do your research. Read. Search the web. Talk to friends. Ask questions. Find out if your doctor has your best interests in mind. Maybe your doctor is awesome. Maybe he/she is educated, smart, cares about your family and wants the best for all of you. But how do you know?
I've encountered good and bad in my life...good and bad fast food workers, lawyers, accountants, cable guys, chiropractors, dental hygienists and yes, doctors. 

Maybe your doctor is awesome. 

Or maybe they should be fired. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog.

Shirley Dicktor February 16, 2014 at 02:23 PM
I have walked away from more than one, due to their initial attitude in the office or their changing attitude, worried about how he is going to continue to make millions in the changing medical enviornment...don't need that crap in my life.
Susan February 16, 2014 at 02:25 PM
I love it when they tell you to get a second opinion. Heck I could hardly afford the medical bill to get the first opinion. Where are these people who love their doctors? I try to aviod them, and if my company switches medical insurance aren't they all suppose to be good? My car was hit by a truck last month and I was taken to local hospital on a streacher. I was asked to touch my toes, no neck x-rays were ever done. I guess it wasn't an emergency?
Susan February 16, 2014 at 02:31 PM
It helps belonging to the strongest Union in the country, so you don't have to worry about losing your job as a doctor (only if you haven't killed multiple people) . Maybe a few mess ups along the way, passed a few too many drugs out. What court is going to want to buck the American Medical Association, and what common citizen has the legal money to fight them?
Pam Scantalides February 16, 2014 at 02:54 PM
Good advice. Remember, Big Pharma controls the metrics that determine if you have high cholesterol, high BP, high sugar, etc. most MD's are mouthpieces . Listen to your body and your common sense.
Penquin February 16, 2014 at 02:56 PM
I can't get over what the doctors are doing to my friend, who is seriously ill. They send him from specialist to specialist and NO ONE wants to make a diagnosis. They'd rather wait until he is dead at 41.
Spencer Kroll February 16, 2014 at 03:01 PM
This article is at best misleading and at worst extremely harmful. Ingnoring the advice of a doctor who tells you that you need treatment for high blood pressure or a cholesterol abnormality may be dangerous. Such advice from a doctor is based upon vast amounts of accumulated knowledge that sets normal values, defines risk factors for heart disease and stroke, and measures outcomes with real statistics. The "Cholesterol Myth" to which the author references, has been discredited by the American Heart Association as well as almost every major medical organization. Certainly lifestyle modification through better eating habits, better dietary choices and increased physical activity will help these problems. But turning to alternative medicine is not without risk and usually without benefit. Alternative treatments and medicines are not something grown by elves in a sunny meadow. They are the product of a profit drive multi-billion dollar alternative medicine market that is not subject to FDA review or scrutiny. Listen to your doctor or health care professional. They typically have your best interest in mind and provide you recommendations based upon knowledge accumulated through years of study and academic rigor.
Russ727 February 16, 2014 at 03:28 PM
I can't argue with his initial comments about trying to research your doctor. The rest of it, however, are the ramblings of someone who doesn't understand medicine, statistics or research but relies totally on anecdote. Thank goodness he is not a doctor, ignore his dangerous advice. And Pam; "big pharma" has absolutely nothing to do with setting norms and goals for treatment. Please think before you post and realize you could be harming people who are unable/unwilling to think for themselves.
Assaggiatore February 16, 2014 at 03:31 PM
I fired one of my doctors because he was a pill pusher. I later found out the drug companies whose medication he wanted me to take was caught paying kickbacks to doctors for their promotion of it.
oldtimer February 16, 2014 at 03:52 PM
I have never fired a doctor, but I did not like the extraordinary amount of tests that were being done. I based my reasoning on the fact that my blood test follow-ups did not dictate the necessity for more tests. The doctor agreed with me and am now doing blood tests and minimum procedures. I honestly feel that while the tests were legit, they were more for the medical groups' bottom line.
Brent W. February 16, 2014 at 04:30 PM
People should be aware of any medical test and should have a conversation with their doctor to ensure it's the right thing to do, not just another test to cover the MDs butt or pad the bottom line. Overtesting is just one factor to high healthcare costs. Last year I disagreed with a doctor's treatment plan, being way too aggressive ($$$), but rather opt for a simpler ($) treatment since this was not life threatening. After a successful treatment they thanked us for convincing them to do the simpler treatment. You are your best health advocate. MDs are not experts in everything medical either, hence why there are specialists, and it is good to do your own research. They are experts in their niche (including PhDs) and they don't know everything under the sun.
crackaloon February 16, 2014 at 05:26 PM
It's propaganda. You should fire your doctor because if you don't you won't be able to see that one anyway. Make it all better by normalizing abnormality. Make it all seem okay, when it's not.
oldtimer February 16, 2014 at 05:49 PM
Yo, Crack! What are you puffing?
Edward J McMenamin February 16, 2014 at 05:53 PM
This article is a PILE OF RUBBISH....if you are "taking a med to lower your cholesterol u may be doing the worst thing to yourself"? most people will die of cancer or heart disease,,,and a huge number of patients are ONLY helped/assisted in their survival by BOTH watching their diet AND taking a statin to assist at lowering their "bad" LDL cholesterol...and statins do MORE than just lower LDL cholesterol,,,but does this mesomorph say anything about that? NO...he just disses everything that is medicince...you have hypertension, it runs in your family? well JUST WATCHING YOUR DIET may not at all be enough to solve and lower your blood pressure persistently....does he say anything about that in this article:??? NO...enuf said...dont listen to this BEAST,,,go see a good doctor,,,dont just read some article in AOL or any other online web site, like it was YOUR doctor talking ONLY about YOUR SITUATION in life....and dont generalize by articles like this... SEE YOUR DOCTOR...
ralph Dehner February 16, 2014 at 07:35 PM
The author of this blog would be the first person to sue the doctor if something went wrong. Doctors often do lots of testing because many symptoms are similar and they are worried of being sued. We live in a society that does not take responsibility of their own health. They over eat, do not get exercise, and only visit their physician when they are deathly ill. Then when something goes wrong, the first person they call is their lawyer! If you want to cut healthcare costs, you need to set limits on settlements and unnecessary lawsuits.
Lara Kofron Babb February 16, 2014 at 07:46 PM
The author of this obviously has no medical knowledge.
Bhrenda Drakeford February 16, 2014 at 08:01 PM
I am an RN for 35 years. I was thrown out of a doctors office in montgomery county because they thought I seeking narcotics. Profiled right off the bat. Accused me of seeking my junky fix. I had gastric bypass surgery and cant take narcotics orally and I have a chronic back problem from 35 years off lifting patients and on SSDI What kind of shit is that!!! The laptop individuals you see in your doctors office are the reps. Every prescription they fill your doctor gets a kick back. Can I trust them. Hell no.
Ed P. February 16, 2014 at 08:15 PM
Simply put, this article is not worthy of publication. Murrieta Patch stoops to a new low.
Kenny Kaufman February 16, 2014 at 08:46 PM
This article was written by someone that quotes George Carlin, a comedian, who I would put in the same category as a irresponsible doctor. Listen to all this rambling that makes very little sense and you have a good chance of putting you and your family in harms way.
Dave February 16, 2014 at 09:17 PM
It is highly irresponsible for the Patch to publish something like this that, unfortunately, will influence a lot of people -- to their extreme detriment. I have no idea who Jason David is, but after he finishes 4 years of college, 4 years of med school, and years of training in a residency, followed by a decade or two of practice, then I'll listen. (No, I am not a physician. Just fed up with uninformed know-it-alls who spout off on subjects on which they are completely unqualified to comment.)
Gail Neuman February 16, 2014 at 10:48 PM
If your BMI, blood pressure, blood sugar and/or cholesterol are too high, then yes you need a visit with a provider (physician or nurse practitioner) right away. Most of this article is not only nonsense but it's dangerous!
Linda Ingmanson February 16, 2014 at 11:51 PM
Regarding cholesterol, I would highly recommend the book Grain Brain by Dr. Perlmutter - as you discovered, a diet rich in healthy fats and low carb is far healthier than the low-fat, high-carb diet that's been foisted on us. It also helps with high blood sugar.
Frank Leone February 17, 2014 at 09:04 AM
When I go to my doctor, his assistant takes my blood pressure (always normal), gives me a cardiogram (always normal), and does a breath-strength test ("Very good," she always says.) The doctor then comes in and asks me how I am, making a couple of innocuous remarks about my blood test (Cholesterol and triglycerides are always a little high). He never touches me. He does't follow up on previous observations (a hernia, high homocisteine) and seems in such a hurry for me to leave that I forget myself to ask. (When I remember a day or so later, I call and his assistant assures me he will tend to it next time I come.) Then I get charged for a "well" checkup (routine) even though such check-ups are technically free under the law. (They say it's for the tests that they formerly didn't charge for). If I don't find a new doctor, I will probably stop going altogether. I consider my visits a serious waste of time. I'll wait until I have symptoms, then call him and he'll send me to a specialist. He just wants to collect the maintenance fee my insurer pays him.
Frank Leone February 17, 2014 at 09:14 AM
I don't think the writer is telling you never to see a doctor. He is merely saying that they are not gods, and you MUST take some responsibility for yourself. Obtain information, process it, and figure out how it applies to you. For most people, thinking is a chore, so they rely exclusively on experts and generalizations. This is worse than NOt going to a doctor.
Frank Leone February 17, 2014 at 09:15 AM
Statins CAN be dangerous! Listen to your body!
linxdev February 17, 2014 at 09:29 AM
I disagree with Spencer. A doctor that tries to medicate first without trying to cure the cause of high blood pressure is a problem. I've been healthy and I've been un-healthy and I'm telling you that blood pressure issues can most likely be a cause of poor diet and lack of movement. Since becoming healthy all my numbers have gotten much better. My resting heart rate can be as low as 40bpm. To even get above 110bpm I have to put in some serious effort at my gym. By cutting back on carbs my cholesterol dropped to excellent numbers. Not once did I consider popping a pill to cure my laziness.
Joan McDaniel February 17, 2014 at 09:46 AM
I was very sick, I could barely walk. I had candida Yeast infection everywhere. The doctors gave me a 5 day supply of anti-fungal meds and as soon as I could breath again on my own sent me home with 13 different meds for heart etc. I knew there was something more wrong and started researching out a diet. I have now regained at least 75% of my strength back, I am off all medications and my blood pressure has never been better. I never went back to the doctor's again for they said "There was nothing wrong with me" Just aging and a weak heart. I had been addicted to sugar and my body's immune system was completely depleted. I built my self up and can now out run then all Joan McDaniel' CoconutCreamCare
Laura Henze Russell February 17, 2014 at 01:36 PM
Given the world we live in, everyone should get a heavy metals, toxics, and mold screen at regular intervals, and also before referrals to non-emergency specialists and before long-term prescription medications. In addition, a screening for genetic variations in methylation and detoxification pathways, and a biocompatibility blood test for dental materials. A nutritional evaluation and allergy patch testing is also helpful. Why? You may find you have a simple glitch, a simple toxins problem, a simple allergy problem or any combination of the above that makes your body, brain, cells, nerves or organs misbehave, causing years or decades or a lifetime of chronic disease. Fix these things, and your body may normalize and not need a lifetime of prescription meds to "treat" or "manage" chronic disease and impaired health. Ask for a referral to a functional medicine specialist or integrative physician (some are internists, some are allergists, etc.), and switch to a biologic dentist. Some doctors focus on acute care, some on managing chronic diseases, and some on uncovering the keys to health. After 35 years of primarily acute care and 20 years of chronic disease management, I am delighted to be healthy again, and costing me and my health plan a whole lot less money.
Autumn February 18, 2014 at 10:46 AM
HR? That's a reliable department....made up of insecure power hungry monsters.


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