I read an article, http://health.msn.com/weight-loss/obesity/articlepage.aspx?cp-documentid=100247398, on physician perceptions of obese patients and was quite annoyed with the results of the study conducted by M. Huizinga and published in the November issue of the Journal of General Internal Medicine. Although I am disturbed at the results, I have to give Dr. Huizinga a big THANK YOU for taking the time to research such an important topic.
For most people who are obese the results may not come as a surprise. Doctors are less respectful towards obese patients. What I was shocked to learn was that “each 10-unit increase in body-mass index (BMI) added a 14 percent higher prevalence of low patient respect on the part of their doctor.” I have always encouraged people to get involved in their own healthcare. No one knows you better than you “should” know yourself. This adds a whole new dimension to my feelings about getting involved in your own healthcare, especially if you are overweight.
If you are overweight and you feel that you are not getting the care you deserve from the doctor you select to care for you, make like Donald Trump and tell your physician, “You’re fired”. According to the report, “negative attitudes toward patients by doctors causes doctors to give their patient less information about their condition, Huizinga said.”That decrease in information may adversely affect the health outcome of patients”. Another physician, , Dr. William Walter O’Neill, professor of medicine/cardiology and executive dean of clinical affairs at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, said that doctors attitudes towards HIV patients, alcoholics, drug users and those people who are obese similarly.
I guess we have to recognize that doctors like police officers, teachers and clergy are people too and have human faults. However, when a patient comes to a doctor for help and the doctor is not giving 100% just because someone has a disease whether its substance abuse, HIV or obesity, the patient suffers from a lack of healthcare and it is wrong. There are many physicians out there and you can find a doctor who is not prejudice who can see you for the person you are and treat you like anyone else would be treated.
Quite frankly, from what I see, healthcare is run by health insurance and malpractice insurance companies and doctors may find it difficult to provide most of their patients with the time they need to provide the best care. Do not except anything less than the best when it comes to your healthcare. If you cannot communicate with your doctor as often as you like, you should find someone in the office or within your insurance company who you feel comfortable with and that can help you coordinate your healthcare needs.
What are your experiences with healthcare?