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Top 10 Ways to Irritate Your M.D.

As I’ve mentioned before, in celebration of Zehr Chiropractic’s 10 year anniversary, I have been putting some Top 10 lists together for the blog.  The first two lists were meant to educate you on ways you can improve your health.  I’ll admit it...this list is just for fun.Now don’t get me wrong.  I don’t hate MDs.  For my part, most of the medical docs I’ve come across professionally have been helpful and well-intentioned.  I have not always agreed with their recommendations, but I do respect them for what they are and how hard they work.  And let’s face it, being a medical doctor is more stressful and less rewarding than it has ever been before, thanks to third party pay, overzealous lawyers (and patients) looking for a quick buck, and government interference.  However, if you and your doctor don’t see eye-to-eye (and you can’t pick a new one because your health insurance leaves you little choice) here are the top 10 ways you can irritate your MD at your yearly visit.
1.  When prescribed a new medication, ask LOTS of questions“What is this drug for?”  “How does it work?”  “How long do I have to take it?”  “Are there any natural alternatives?”  “What side effects should I be concerned about?”  Actually, you should do this any time someone wants to make changes to your body.  However, most MDs just expect you to take what you are given and don’t like to be questioned.2.  Tell them you want to run things by your chiropractor first
Although the AMA's witch hunt against chiropractic (and any other health profession that ins't "medical") is not nearly as prevalent now, there is still some resentment toward my profession.  Many of my patients have gotten positive feedback from their doc when they mention that we have helped their nagging back pain, migraines, or sciatica.  But every once in awhile, a patient will tell me that their doctor got snippy with them in regards to seeking out chiropractors for their troubles (or any alternative therapy, for that matter).  Maybe they still believe the misinformation they received in medical college about alternative therapies.  Maybe their egos get bruised when someone succeeds where their treatment fails.  Whatever the reason, some MDs just can’t believe that health can be improved by anything but drugs and surgery.  Regardless of the fact that humans walked the earth for millions of years before steroid injections.3.  Start a sentence with “But Dr. Oz says...”They hate that.  I'm not much of a fan, either.4.  Question conventional wisdomConventional wisdom is usually anything but wise.  Once an idea gets accepted by a group of people with authority, it becomes the rule for everybody, whether or not it has been aggressively tested.  Kind of like a rumor.  For instance, when your doctor tries to prescribe you statin drugs and tells you eat less fat because your total cholesterol is 210, question it.  Ask for data proving his point and present data of your own that questions the theory (like the multitude of recent papers questioning the “lipid hypothesis”).  Of course, that would likely extend your 3 minute office visit, which can really get under the doctor’s skin.  But it’s your right to make informed decisions.5.  Talk when your doctor is using a stethoscopeI liken it to people who talk and move around while I’m trying to examine their spine.  Only do this to your doctor if the guy has really done something to tick you off.6.  Mention another problem as the doctor makes his way out the door

You are ONLY ALLOWED one health problem, silly.  If you have more than one issue, the doctor make get irritated and likely overlook the second complaint.  He’s double booked, you know.  His time is important.  Your time?  Not so much.  Which brings me to my next point...

7.  Complain about waiting

Your doctor likely does not care that you have waited 8 weeks for your important, or that you have been waiting 90 minutes in a cold room in nothing but a paper gown.  He's running behind.  But if YOU run 1o minutes behind, you will lose your appointment and be charged anyway.  Amazing.

8.  Pack as many people into the treatment room as possible

Bring all three of your kids, two of their friends, and hit the candy store beforehand.  Think clowns in a telephone booth.

9.  Don’t shower, clip your nails, etc.

As a chiropractor, this drives me nuts, as well.  If you truly have an axe to grind with your doc and want him to suffer as much as possible during your short visit, be as gross as possible.

10. Come in prepared with your own diagnosis

If there is any sure fire way to irritate your doctor (medical or otherwise), this is it.  Consulting WebMD, Google, and the Reader's Digest may make you feel more intelligent  in front of the doc, but it may make him feel as if you are trying to tell him how to do his job.  No one likes a know-it-all, especially fellow know-it-alls.  The doctor may even ask  "Why are you even here?"

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