Sympathy: What’s Missing From Our Health Care System

Sympathy: What’s Missing From Our Health Care System

I was lecturing to about 100 people last month about the power we have to change our health destiny when we choose to take control of our choices and participate in the care of our bodies and minds.

During that talk, several people raised their hands with comments and questions, much of which was focused on complaining about the current healthcare system, especially about their doctors.

What I told them, I want to share with you:

Have some empathy for the health care providers who are trying to do their job in a very messed up system.

I personally got out, but I didn’t have children to take care of, just loans to pay back. I got out because I didn’t want anyone telling me how to practice medicine while taking the time away from me that I need to spend with my patients. I also got out because I was tired of supporting a system that enables patients to avoid taking responsibility for their own health and throwing all the responsibility on doctors, who are overwhelmed and being underpaid.

Most health care providers got interested in practicing medicine because they believed in helping people. Yes, there are a few folks who were or are in it for the money, and have given medicine a bad name, but the majority of doctors really care, or at least they started out that way. But when your own health starts being jeopardized and all you can think of is getting out of health care, caring gets really difficult.

Think about it yourself. When you are overwhelmed, stressed, worried, anxious, tired or overworked, how empathic are you to the plight of others?

Overbooked, under-reimbursed, and tightly controlled by managed-care programs who have less concern about patient care but the bottom dollar, doctors and other health care providers find themselves wanting out, and where does it leave you?

It leaves you in a place where you needed to be a long time ago — taking responsibility for your own health so that you are participating in managing your health with your doctor or health care provider, rather than expecting them to cure you or fix what you have decided to break. When you start becoming more educated about your choices and start making better decisions about your health and your life, you help your doctor do their job better too.

Not all doctors are bad. In fact, most of them are really amazing people, just like you, who are unable to take care of themselves because life’s demands have taken over. Have some compassion for them while deciding to take more responsibility for your life and your health.

It doesn’t matter what you have been dealt or what diagnosis you have been given. The body is extremely resilient and has an amazing natural capacity to heal. It just doesn’t have access to it when it is overwhelmed and stressed. You can take the power back, should you choose and then you might find that you and your doctor are getting healthier together, not suing one another until death do you part.

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