Note: I’m using the term MD or doctor in this post, but this goes for all medical professionals. One of the people I consult with, for example has a Functional Medicine degree from a Chinese Medicine school. He’s not actually an MD. I’m just talking about qualified medical professionals here. And regardless of training or degree, I’ve found it hard to find folks who have access to lab testing etc who want to really listen to me. Most people have boxes they’ll try to fit their patients into. I’ve found this to be often true among alternative medical practitioners as well. The boxes may be different, but they’re still boxes.
Another little note after some responses in social media: Everyone seems to assume I’m talking about psychiatrists specifically here and I’m not. I don’t see psychiatrists anymore. This is about finding any and all HEALTH professionals and can be generalized to psychiatrists too if you’re still wanting to see one. I’d say it’s much harder to find a competent psychiatrist than it is to find a competent general practitioner, however.
What we need are people who are very knowledgable but who also remain humble in the face of the mystery of the human body/mind/spirit.
I need to find a local MD for practical purposes, but gosh, finding someone who will profoundly partner with me remains like finding a needle in haystack. I’ve got a couple of people I consult with who are out-of-state who are truly fantastic human beings, but they are very hard to access for practical stuff like labs etc. The local MDs I’ve met that are somewhat philosophically similar to me, still generally want to control my care and imagine they know how to treat me when they don’t.
So, you see, even though I’ve gotten very skilled at ferreting out good doctors with whom I can work well…when push comes to shove new ones are still really hard to find. What exactly is hard to find? — Doctors who are non-coercive and interested in deeply listening and partnering. It’s very difficult. I’ve only had one doctor like that locally and she retired a few years ago.
So to get a new MD I have to interview them and feel them out…and it’s time-consuming and exhausting and there is a very low rate of success. I’ve failed many times now locally and right now I really don’t feel like putting myself out there again. When one has been seriously injured, repeatedly, by the medical profession, it’s very difficult to do the work to find someone safe.
The two medical practitioners I consult with regularly are both in CA. Ironically they are both located where I used to live, but I moved away a long time ago before I met them.
Yes, it’s like finding a needle in a haystack.
I tweeted the above phrases in a long tweet rant and then edited them into this post. I started thinking about other posts on working with MDs. While I do avoid doctors as much as possible, having some good ones to consult with from time to time is often critically important. They’re also the gateway to getting important lab work etc quite often. That is actually what I need right now and the folks I consult with aren’t easy to contact for stuff like labs.
So, while I have indeed, learned a lot about how to get appropriate and safe medical care when it’s necessary, I, too still get stuck. It’s really difficult to find appropriate care even for folks who know exactly what they need and want. For people who don’t know what they need it becomes additionally difficult. I continue to do this work so that we all might, together, create a world where this is no longer the case.
Below I’m going to repost some commentary that includes links to posts on our relationships with doctors.
Our relationship with doctors (or health providers in general)
MDs are trained to be intrusive…they believe it’s their job to be intrusive and then directive. This often ends up simply being coercive and it’s all largely unconscious on their part as they feel such behavior is what they are supposed to do. To remain safe it’s important to find MDs who are willing to leave such conditioning behind and meet you and listen to you as the individual you are.
It should be understood that a great number of the readers of this blog have been harmed by the medical profession. Many of us have been gravely debilitated and disabled. Iatrogenic harm is injury incurred by medical treatment. Such injury is deeply traumatic and largely denied by the perpetrators and also by the medical establishment in general which adds insult to the injury and makes seeking help to heal literally dangerous. Those who have had such injury need to learn how to take care of themselves as they move forward. It behooves everyone else to be aware of the fact that iatrogenic injury is very common so that they might take care to avoid it. See: Medically induced illness: iatrogenic injury
When I posted the above blurb on Facebook, someone asked for tips on how to go about finding such enlightened practitioners who’ve been able to overcome their conditioning. I’ve written about how to do that before and am sharing a link below. It’s a skill that needs to be learned, but it’s entirely possible to find good people with practice. I now know many professionals of all stripes who are deeply respectful. It remains difficult to find new ones, but I now trust myself completely and go about doing what I need to do on the occasions that I need to find someone new for whatever reason.
Basically we need to find doctors who understand the issue deeply. Like this guy:
It’s also helpful to understand that with the internet you can feel people out via email and phone and a lot of MDs are willing to consult via phone. The two MDs I consult with most frequently these days live out of state. Cast your net wide if you need to. Stay safe and well-respected.
More on how to trust Internal Guidance at Mad in America
I will add that in the event of something emergency-like, when you cannot interview the doctor you are going to see it’s sometimes necessary to simply prepare oneself for something that may be quite difficult and even traumatic. Such is life. We do need to learn to negotiate difficult situations as well…it gets easier as we gain confidence in ourselves. We no longer have our eyes closed so if we must see a less than sympathetic MD for something urgent we can navigate to get what we need and then get the heck out and find someone better suited for us once the urgent need has passed.
More recently I wrote about two different psychologists still trapped by their conditioning with whom I had some painful encounters. I do, indeed, still run into the very upsetting reality those of us who’ve been marked by psychiatry are subject to as well. All the helping and healing professions are subject to this sort of disrespect. It’s hard to find professionals who are profoundly free of such bigotry and conditioning. I understand. I also know that I’ve found many who have freed themselves and continue to find more all the time. Have faith in both yourself and humanity. There are good people everywhere. Find them.
Demoted…by another “relatively enlightened” mental health professional
Freaking out therapist types: on being subject to the clinical gaze and the conditioned mind
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