Ghostbusters aside, I often ask this question to people: “When it comes to making health choices, are you seeking advice from someone who is an expert in wellness or an expert in disease?” Sadly, medical doctors are rarely experts in wellness. Less than 6% of medical schools even offer nutrition classes and in most of them it’s an elective (optional) course. When was the last time your doctor asked you how much water you drink or how often you poop? They ask how much alcohol, cigarettes, and sexual partners you have – all focused on disease. In my experience, most medical professionals are far from the picture of “health”. They are overweight, their skin lacks vibrancy, and they are probably taking a handful of prescriptions and drinking Diet Coke.
Medical Doctors are practically mandated to attend drug conferences. You see, in order to keep their medical license, medical doctors (like other professionals) must earn continuing education credits. In theory, this is a good idea. No one should stop learning when they graduate. Here’s the sad reality… When choosing continuing education classes/workshops, a medical doctor can get online and do some research and find a natural health course that is approved for credits, they can pay the registration fee, and pay their own expenses to go take the course. Or they could go to one of the countless continuing education courses that are sponsored by drug companies. These courses are often held at luxury resorts where the drug companies wine and dine the doctors, often pay their travel expenses, and during which the drug companies “educate” the doctors on their latest research and the “benefits” of their drugs. They often give them bags, pens, and other promotional items along with free samples of drugs for them to dole out. Which choice do you think your doctor makes? Pay their own way to learn how to lower blood pressure with breathing techniques or get wined and dined for free at a luxury resort?
I don’t blame the doctors entirely. Most of them head to medical school with the idea of wanting to help people. I doubt they apply to medical school thinking “I want to learn how to carefully balance a wide variety of pharmaceuticals to mask the disease symptoms my patients present with.” No, I think they have higher expectations, but only a few jump ship and become experts in wellness instead of experts in disease.
The good news is that there are many qualified wellness coaches, educators, and practitioners who focus on holistic health – body, mind, and spirit. They don’t focus on eliminating a symptom. They focus on the whole person and seek to determine where the imbalance originated and how it can naturally be restored to balance. Wellness professionals focus on whole-food nutrition, proper hydration, digestion, metabolism, sleep, state of mind, exercise, relationships, and all other aspects of holistic health.
So next time you see your doctor, ask them if they consider themselves to be an expert in wellness or an answer in disease. Then ask them to defend their answer. Truth is, they probably think they are experts in wellness. Therein lies the problem.
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The information in the article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prescribe for any disease or condition. Consult your preferred provider when making wellness choices.