Don’t Trust Your Doctor, Hone And Trust Your Instincts!

Don’t Trust Your Doctor?

Unless Your Instincts Tell You Too!

If you want to see the data, go to this link.

Even some doctors say don’t trust your doctor!

Trust Has To Be Built

Advice to doctors, based on preliminary survey data:

Listen to your patients and let them know you are listening.

When I sign up for a race, I have friends who say, “Did your doctor give you permission?”

I think, “Permission. Who are you kidding?”

They say “doctor” with reverence, which gives me the creeps. I find this approach somewhat religious in nature.

The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, especially a personal God or gods.


don't trust your doctor

Here’s my percent allocation of the decision making process. Each person is different in this respect. If you trust your doctor 100%, I guess all the other slices of the pie would be set to zero.

As a veterinary student, in Bristol, England, in the early 1960s, we vet students had the pleasure of sharing our general physiology classes with about 120 MD students. They never struck me as particularly god-like, or godlings. They were no different to us 29 vet students. A bunch of youngsters, messing around and facing a challenging academic training. Some were bright, and some were clearly not so bright.

Thus my skepticism, when people tell me to trust my doctor.

Doctors are but one tool in one’s decision-making toolbox. Wonderful tools, used wisely, but potentially misleading, even lethal, otherwise. Thus my recent book on so-called plantar fasciitis, and those misguided heel injections that many doctors and podiatrists still seem to love.

What do I mean by hone your instincts?

A natural propensity or skill of a specified kind.
“his instinct for making the most of his chances”


For instance, in my most recent book on so-called plantar fasciitis, my instinctual response to a doctor suggesting I might need a heel injection was as follows:

don't trust your doctor; plantar fasciitis has the wrong nameA what? What was she thinking? This raised my suspicions concerning whether this doctor really understands the structure and function of the heel. As a medical professional, the thought of a heel injection horrified me. My thoughts went like this:

The connective tissue of the heel isn’t a random blob of fat, collagen and elastin. It’s a complex living structure that responds to load. Interactions with the ground, as we move, subject it to shear and compression forces. This creates patterns of strain throughout the fat/collagen/elastin network, thus sculpting the structure of the molecular cross-links and alignments within this critical support system. Jabbing needles in there is like chucking paint on a work of art, or jamming a spanner (monkey wrench) in the works. Plus there’s the risk of infection.

Clearly, this instinctive reaction was a function of a medical education. I’d honed my medical instincts.

don't trust your doctorIt therefore pays to educate yourself on the relevant issues as best you can, or find a friend with such knowledge, and discuss it with them, before accepting your doctors advice. Unless there isn’t time, as in an acute life-threatening situation. Then it’s a matter of luck and your existing knowledge base! It also helps to learn how to communicate with doctors, which is an art in itself.


What do you call a doctor who was at the bottom of his class?

You call them Doctor! 

Carry out a benefit risk analysis first, is my recommendation.

One approach to benefit-risk assessment, for decision-making in the face of a health challenge, is linked to the pie chart on this post.

If you feel like it, please consider filling out the following online survey, because I need all the data I can get to hone my instincts:

Create your own user feedback survey

Why am I doing this? Because some people become extremely defensive when I suggest that they question their doctor’s opinion. I’m collecting data for my defense, so common sense can prevail.

Wishing you happy trails,

kev aka FitOldDog


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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.