Aging Options

Is it time to fire your doctor?

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If you are over 70 and have diabetes you’re not alone.  As many as one in five individuals over the age of 65 have Type 2 diabetes but when it comes to treating the disease for those individuals, doctors rely on a one-size fits all approach that aggressively reduces blood glucose levels but does little to take other needs into account. 

A study out of the University of Exeter Medical School found that if doctors used an individualized care plan, 27 percent achieved better glycaemic control.  The study used a test group that was given a medication and a control group that was given a placebo but also individualized care.  Of those in the control group, 27 percent met their targets without any medications.  You can read about the study here but the importance of the study isn’t the results but rather that the results finally provided evidence to support the case for individualized care.  And I’m just going to go out on a limb here and say WHAT!

Here’s why.  In other news, seriously…in other news, a pilot program to reduce the use of anti-psychotic drugs used in nursing homes has been deemed a success because the number of Alzheimer’s patients incorrectly receiving the medication and putting them at a greater risk of death has dropped dramatically.  This despite federally issued alerts telling nursing homes that they relied too much on a bad solution with deadly consequences.  Okay.  I’m outraged and I’m wondering why we needed grant money to pay for a pilot program to do the right thing.

I was just reading a story about firing your doctor.  Which you can find in this article and I’m beginning to wonder if it’s something we should all consider.  Sometimes it’s really not about if they know their stuff or not.  You know what I mean. It doesn’t take a genius to change the oil but I drive out of my way to get my oil changed by someone who doesn’t automatically think I’m a ditz because I’m female.  When you hire a professional of any stripe, you’re not just hiring someone with the technical knowledge to help you; you’re hiring someone who won’t treat you like you’re just one of the chickens in an egg factory.  It’s about whether or not you feel like he or she really listens to you and takes your history into account.  It’s really about relationships.  If your health is your most important asset like elder law attorney, Rajiv Nagaich says then if you don’t have a relationship with your doctor so that he or she can treat you like the individual you are, isn’t it time you found one where you did?

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