We Learn From YOU!

The doctor-patient relationship is a two-way street


Each time you see your health care provider, you probably assume that the advice given during the session is headed in a single direction – from the medical expert to you. After all, you are there to learn how to take better care of yourself. But, believe it or not, your health care practitioner is learning from you as well.

A new book, 1,000 Years of Diabetes Wisdom, was recently published by the American Diabetes Association. In it, many of the world's leading diabetes professionals share lessons they've learned from their patients that have transformed the way they approach diabetes. Here are a few examples:

"What we say and do as health professionals may not be interpreted by our patients or clients in the same way that we mean it."

This is so true. Have you ever left your health care provider's office more confused than enlightened? Medical folks frequently throw around scientific terms that are unfamiliar to many individuals. Communication only works when both parties understand each other. Hopefully, more health care professionals now follow this valuable lesson.

"Patients are not interested in diabetes – they are interested in THEIR diabetes.

Diabetes is a very personal issue. It is fascinating to read about all of the developments happening in the world of diabetes, but for those who have it, their main focus is on their own health. Your health care professional must appreciate that you and your specific needs come first.

"It has become clear to me that there is more than one right approach."

I totally agree! When I first began counseling individuals with diabetes more than 20 years ago, I taught patients to adhere to the guidelines set out by a particular diabetes organization. Over the years, my patients have taught me that there are a variety of ways to care for diabetes; many roads can lead to good health and diabetes control.

"I was reminded that I needed to treat people with respect for the vast knowledge that they possessed."

Remember life before computers? In those days, diabetes patients relied heavily on their health care providers as their main source of medical information. Nowadays, individuals often enter the doctor's office with an extensive amount of knowledge. This heightened awareness enables patients and health care practitioners to develop a true partnership. The doctor is no longer a benevolent "parent" who tells the "child" exactly what to do. United, they can be a team that explores treatment options together.

Diabetes communication is a two-way street and together, we can truly make a difference. Yes, we do learn a great deal from YOU!


NOTE: The information is not intended to be a replacement or substitute for consultation with a qualified medical professional or for professional medical advice related to diabetes or another medical condition. Please contact your physician or medical professional with any questions and concerns about your medical condition.


Last Modified Date: June 20, 2013

All content on dLife.com is created and reviewed in compliance with our editorial policy.

More on this Topic

No items are associated with this tag

Sign up for FREE dLife Newsletters

dLife Membership is FREE! Get exclusive access, free recipes, newsletters, savings, and much more! FPO

You are subscribed!
You are subscribed!
You are subscribed!
68 Views 0 comments
by Lindsey Guerin
Because I wear my Dexcom on my arm, I’ve slowly adjusted to the fact that people will ask me about it. Sometimes it’s the rude and inquisitive “What’s that?” and sometimes it’s somewhat sincere curiosity “Is that a (insert random type of medical device that they assume)?” Sometimes it bothers me more than others depending on how they ask and how they respond once I’ve told them what it is. I have limits to how much myth-busting I want to do in everyday conversation and how much rudeness I can...