It’s time to mind your body

Gerald W. Deas M.D., MPH | 7/11/2019, 11:24 a.m.

I am sure that you have been reading in magazines, newspapers and etc., how physicians are finally trying to incorporate the mind of a patient in the healing process. This is long overdue. In fact, this concept is still not part of the curriculum in medical schools where the art of healing is first introduced to future doctors.

Whenever the necessity to visit a physician, just remember that you own your own body and you, or somebody close to you, better help you to mind it. I am sure that you, like I, may feel a little uneasy going to see a physician, mainly because you are afraid that they may tell you something that you don’t want to hear. With all of the medical information concerning diseases that is presented in the media, it is no wonder that folks are afraid.

Many folks feel that what you don’t know can’t hurt you. Well, you know as I do that belief systems can be dangerous because, when things begin to hurt, it may be a signal that the diseased condition is well on its way and is trying to tell you something. It is therefore most important to mind your own body by getting yearly checkups, even when things are not bothering you. If, on the other hand, you are experiencing bodily discomforts that you can’t explain in a rational way, I would suggest that you visit your physician.

I would now like to give you a piece of my medical mind on what questions you should ask your physician. First of all, the physician may ask you what you chief complaint is. I would advise you to write down on a piece of paper at home, all your complaints, even before you see the physician. You should be able to give a complete description of the discomfort and how long you have had it. Whether you experience it daily, once a week or month or even year. A thorough physician will also take a good medical history from you, covering all the systems of the body. Also, a good social and work life history is a must. It may take longer than the allotted 15 minutes but hey, it’s your time to give all the information that might be bearing on the medical condition that you are concerned about. Finally, a complete physical examination should be done from head to toe. After dressing, it is extremely important that the physician take time to explain his or her findings and what diagnostic tests may be necessary to come to a medical conclusion. If you do not understand the medical terms, ask the physician to break it down to you in laymen terms. Ask the physician to write down the diagnosis in order that you may be able to explain it to a family member. The physician should be kind enough not to use medical terms that might be frightening. It is very necessary that if there is a language difference that a relative accompany you to the office.