Forget all the white noise that is a nice house, good job, the latest iPhone and a white picket fence because all of that stuff is a bonus. The only thing that is of total importance is our health. That’s all we have and all we should care about, which is why the healthcare system we have here in the great USA is so dumbfounding. All of it. Every step of the process.
Just think back to the last time you visited the doctor. It probably went something like this. You turned up, got ushered into your doctor’s office, they walk in a moment or two later, quickly scan your lab work and briefly go over your vital signs. Then they’ll shine a torch in your eyes, ears, and nostrils before getting out the stethoscope to listen to your heart and lungs. Then, fifteen minutes later, you’re being handed a prescription for some drugs you’ve never heard of and the advice to completely change your lifestyle because you’re overweight with high cholesterol. Oh, and then they say, “see you in six months, bye.”
It’s madness. You’ve been told some pretty heavy news about your health and yet you don’t have a chance to ask the questions you’ve forgotten because you’re so confused. However, it turns out the reason for this sort of doctor’s visit is as simple to explain as it is scary to hear: they just don’t have the time or training to delve into their diagnosis any further.
Of course, that’s just one of the big issues with the US healthcare system. The big one is obviously the cost, but it seems no one is qualified enough to delve into this, especially not us. However, we have been talking to a number of people that work in healthcare to see where else we could improve the health care system and, without further ado, this is what they said:
- Better Training On Healthy Eating
This is always going to be tricky because there are a trillion different “healthy eating” diets out there, making it hard to recommend individual one, right? Wrong. Because no matter which diet you look at, they all share a few focal points: eat whole foods, much on less sugar, and chow down more vegetables. That’s the basics of healthy eating and it would solve a whole lot of problems in America if it were spoken about more, and doctor’s could be a better support. That’s why we need to educate our doctors more on why sugar and processed foods suck, backing it up with practical knowledge. It would change their medicinal habits.
- Change The Antibiotics Attitude
No one can deny the fact antibiotics changed the game. It’s the modern medicine that transformed everything. The problem is, we’re now looking for a pill that will “cure” everything. But that is never the case. There is never one simple cure, so let’s stop pretending there is. No pill can help someone lose excess weight in a healthy way and no one pill can reduce high cholesterol if the patient is willing to do more for themselves. Basically, we need to put a halt to this attitude. That way we will be more willing to tell people to get more sleep, eat better diets, and stop stressing so much. Fewer distractions and more actions.
- Natural First, Medication Second
Don’t worry, we’re not delusional. We know that medication is absolutely crucial when it comes to curing certain ailments and health problems. We know that exercising, eating healthy and changing our lifestyles isn’t going to cure everything. However, doesn’t it make sense we put more emphasis on natural methods and then back these up with medication, instead of relying totally on a pill to do the work? It makes much more sense for doctors to help patients find the root causes of their problems, to be more in tune with their bodies, and to look for natural ways to improve their health and then, if that fails, to bring medication in to play a supporting role.
- Address The Bigger Picture
If you look at the current population health in America, you’ll find something isn’t quite working – something doesn’t quite add up. To give it to you straight, the U.S. spends more on health care than anyone else and yet it has a lower life expectancy and worse health outcomes than any other high-income nation. Surely that’s a disparity that needs addressing and one of the best ways of doing this, according to the health care professionals I spoke with, would be to apply public health concepts to chronic disease management – something other countries focus on a lot.
- Medical Providers Need More Body Education
Let’s take one of the most natural processes of the human body – hormone production. No, I’m not referencing things like testosterone or estrogen, I’m talking about the role everyday hormones play within the human body. The reason this is important for medical providers to understand is that they can play a huge role in better managing our health and lifestyles. For instance, adrenal hormones are one of the most common hormones and ones that can contribute to both weight gain and heart problems. By simply understanding this at the provider level, you can start to make changes to counter their effects and better balance your hormones to boost your weight loss efforts. It’s just about education.
- Spend More Time With Patients
This is the one that really hits a nerve with us. As I mentioned at the beginning, a pretty heavy diagnosis was performed in just fifteen minutes and without any consultation of what to do afterward. Why? Because doctors just don’t have the time and to have any kind of meaningful conversation around the topic of someone’s health requires spending a chunk of time chatting. How we improve this side of things is tricky, but one great suggestion was to employ people trained in both nutrition and fitness that can then offer a personalized follow-up service, whether in person or over a video call. Just think about it for a second. Not only would this address the lack of office time in a pretty logical way, but it would also give people the help they need understanding how their lifestyle can be changed for the better, as well as how sleep, exercise, and nutrition play a big role in improving their health.