Well that’s a dumb question! Your doctor is your doctor, of course! What if doctor is teacher, though…?
What if I told you that the word “doctor” comes from the Latin word meaning “teacher?”
Now, how would you answer the question, “Who is your doctor?” Now that you know doctor is teacher…
I only recently learned of this meaning myself. So in my mind I journeyed back through all my doctor visits. On most occasions I left the doctor’s office with a feeling of helplessness and no answers to the simple questions I had. Once, when I was 16 and celibate, I was berated for my choice of no birth control. Another time I saw a doctor about horrendous PMS. I was offered the Pill. That’s it. No education on hormones, imbalances, or endometriosis.
In both cases, I didn’t see teaching modeled to me as a patient hiring their services.
And then one day I had shoulder problems. Before doing any surgery my orthopedic doctor suggested physical therapy.
My physical therapist was my first true “doctor.” I don’t know how many letters came after her name and I don’t know what prefix she preferred; I just called her Kris.
Kris helped me through the toughest year of my life. She gave me breathing exercises I thought were stupid and had nothing to do with shoulders, but then she taught me why. She gave me exercises that focused on my pelvic position, but then she taught me how it affects the shoulders. I was pushed harder than I thought I could go, but then she taught me how she knew I could go farther.
Every day that I saw her I learned something new about the way my body moves. I learned about ligaments, muscles and bones.
And I understood.
Because I understood why I was doing what I was doing, I had the willpower to continue on. For 18 months I continued under her teaching with an increasing knowledge of how I would benefit from each exercise.
I’m proud to say that today my shoulders are pain free (unless I over do it). My back pain has been greatly reduced. My knee pain is completely gone….and I was only worried about my shoulders!
All this pain is gone because I had a doctor who took the time to teach me how my body works!
Your Doctor is Teacher
Don’t get me wrong, doctors are amazing people. I’m grateful for them because every day they save and improve the lives of many.
But if you leave your doctor’s office and you feel smaller than an ant ready to be squished by his or her thumb, you need a different doctor.
Find a doctor who truly teaches. They may not come with letters after their name or lots of years of schooling, but they can still be your doctor. My mom was my doctor sometimes. My school nurse was my doctor once. I’m my own doctor sometimes. Sometimes a book or a website is my doctor. And sometimes my midwife is my doctor.
Remember, you are a paying customer. Don’t feel locked into your same old doctor just because that’s what you’ve always done. Take your money to someone who cares about you and teaches you!
How did you discover who your doctor is?