Medical doctors can no longer put up with your bullshit.

I have been seeing patients as a chiropractor for over 16 years. Most patients come to me because they want relief of symptoms so that they can get back to the things they love, or things they must do, like make a living to feed their family. What motivates you?

People in my office also claim that they do not want medications, they don’t want surgery, and they want to do things naturally, or holistically. I believe most people tell the medical doctor exactly the same thing. Despite medical doctors having two primary tools to help you with, drugs and surgery, unless they are simply greedy members of the business of medicine, they really do want to help you be healthier. They will look at your labs, review tests, talk to you and usually listen at first. They will then tell you what you need to do to address the problem and will often also give you medications.  Your individualized instructions may be something like:

“In the absence of lifestyle changes leading to regular exercise and a primarily vegetarian diet, Mr/Mrs. ________ will have this prescription for x,y and z, will regulate your sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol, kidney function, etc. Return in 3 months to check progress.”

The patient goes away, comes back in three months and the problems are worse. The patient didn’t take the medications but they also didn’t exercise and change their diet. This time, the patients lab work is worse, in fact, everything is worse.

The doctor sees that you are not serious, you don’t ask for additional help, you simply nod your head in agreement and then do nothing you were told to do. Lack of effort is a big reason that doctors don’t listen to you. It’s also why you are given medications. With the help of a doctor who focuses on helping your body heal itself through healthy lifestyle changes, you likely won’t need medications. Unless of course you’ve let things go too far.

FACT: Chiropractors don’t prescribe medications or perform surgery. They help your body by removing interference in nerves caused by spinal subluxation, your body does the healing. Chiropractors can ONLY work with you on lifestyle and through chiropractic care. Because they don’t give meds, you won’t leave with any! This motivates many to just “get the job done” and do the work. As the saying begins, “when there’s no safety net…”

“You can’t medicate your way out of a problem that you “behaved your way” into. 

Insider Tip- Doctors see and hear patients exaggerating their willingness to work toward health all day long. They can see what’s going to happen before it happens nineteen out of twenty times. This is why doctors don’t listen to you. Why should your medical doctor listen if you aren’t going to listen to them regarding lifestyle change?

Because you pay them? Nope, not worth it. There’s a line of people to pay the doctor, many who may follow through with recommendations.

Should they listen to you because you need their help? If you need their help, why do you seek it out and not listen? Were you expecting a different plan of action? How can you expect to not take medications or have surgery if you aren’t willing to do the natural, holistic work on your own?

At some point, your doctors experience compassion fatigue. After caring for people for the right reasons, they realize how little impact they actually have, and they just stop caring. This part of why they don’t listen and then they give you a bottle of pills.

Of course, there are other reasons that they don’t listen, but patient follow through is a big one.

SO, how do you get your doctors to listen and care more?

  1. Care yourself. Showing up is not enough, you need to work hard to change your life. DO IT. Don’t say you will and then “forget your homework”.
  2. Listen to them. Good doctors like patients who are inquisitive and want to understand. Ask thoughtful questions.
  3. Put down your phone. Focus. Nothing tells a doctor that you don’t care about yourself more than checking messages while they are explaining things to you.
  4. Try Hard. Effort is appreciated. Even if it’s not enough to make immediate changes, effort says to your doctor that you care (see tip #1). A doctor who doesn’t care more in the presence of an assertive patient, is not a doctor you should stick with.

While there are many reasons for this common patient complaint of doctors not listening, compassion fatigue among doctors of all types is common. Once in full swing, compassion fatigue means that you’ll likely get less compassion from your doctor. They are human too. Be assertive and work harder to be healthier and your doctor will work harder for you.