Doctor, Doctor, Tell Me

Doctor, Doctor, Tell Me

I do it almost every day. Someone doesn’t feel well. They come to see me as a doctor and talk about their symptoms. I ask questions, do an exam, order tests, and prescribe treatment. For some “simple” medical problems, that is enough.

But more often than not there are so many more issues beyond just the physical symptoms. If I ignore these other factors, the patient may or may not get better. And I have done the patient poor service.

It has been estimated that perhaps 75% of the time a patient goes to see a primary care physician the primary problem is not physical. Instead, the problem is primarily psychological. That doesn’t mean symptoms are “all in your head.” It means problems such as anxiety, depression, and stress are extremely common, and they have strong effects on our physical bodies.

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