Physician Disability: Altering Habits in the Doctor’s Office
Take your vitamins. Stay away from processed carbohydrates. Not too much sugar. Wear sunscreen. Exercise for thirty minutes daily. Eat more vegetables. Ease up on the caffeine. Although you should have physician disability insurance to protect your livelihood, the ultimate goal is to take care of yourself so you never have to use it.
Preventative tips are great. They come in droves, and regardless of your specialty, as a physician you most likely know a multitude of tips and suggestions to keep your patients from getting sick. But how can you make them remember?
It is a patient care conundrum. You want to give your patient as much information as possible, so they are fully educated and prepared to take care of their health. But it’s not that simple, and sometimes direct advice may not always be the best option.
One study profiled in the New York Times examined how much mothers altered their babies’ diets after being counseled by pediatricians on healthy eating habits. The participating mothers were given advice in several different formats, from specific recommendations (give your baby 2-4 tablespoons of vegetables a day), manuals, or simple reminders. The study found that it was the mothers who received guidance about their own eating habits, who then made the most changes in feeding their babies healthier diets, suggesting the potential value of indirectly giving advice.
Some doctors choose to focus on fewer topics, but with more in depth information. Others use typed lists of recommendations that patients can read at home. It is a fine balance between providing the information and making sure it is efficiently relayed without overwhelming the patient in the limited time slot a doctor’s appointment allows.
As a physician, what is your opinion on counseling patients on preventative health advice? We’d love to hear from you.
But, all the preventative health tips in the world still can’t help protect you if you are injured or fall seriously ill. Physician disability insurance can help cover the gap that workers comp can’t.