Is my Doctor a Health Coach?
A Health Coach is a relatively new type of healthcare worker and helps fill a huge gap in our current medical model.
For most of my life, I assumed that if there was something wrong with the way I was eating my doctor would ask me about my diet and give me advice. Yet, for years, I struggled with numerous ongoing health symptoms (including failure to thrive as a child!!) and rarely was food a discussion point. Looking back, I can’t help thinking how crazy that seems!
My experience is not unique. Fewer than 1/8 of routine physician visits include any nutritional counseling.
The number of hours devoted to nutrition education in medical schools has declined since the 1980s. In fact, 60–80% of medical schools are teaching far less nutrition than what is recommended, with some requiring NO nutrition instruction at all.
50% of graduating medical students and 88% of instructors indicated that students at their medical schools need more nutrition instruction.
Nutrition education typically occurs during the first 2 years of medical school as opposed to during the clinical years when nutrition concepts and skills could be applied more directly to clinical problem-solving.
Fewer than 25% of practicing physicians believe they have sufficient training to talk to patients about diet or physical activity.
THE WASHINGTON POST
Most doctors have no more training about diet or exercise than their patients. How much do YOU remember from your high school health classes?
When I realized that my initial expectation for my doctors to be this resource was not actually reasonable, it finally dawned on me that I needed to get educated and become my own health advocate.
I encourage you to do the same!
My Healthy Family Course is a great place to start.
These classes teach the five foundational layers for good health at every age.
Each class in my Healthy Family Course also discusses who the right types of providers are to correctly diagnose the possible underlying health condition to your symptoms and effectively treat these problems.
No more wasting your time and money bouncing between the right types of providers sounds pretty amazing, right?
US health insurance costs doctors time and money.
Decreasing health insurance payments have forced physicians to see more patients to retain the same amount of income. (Because that medical school debt isn’t going to pay for itself, right?) This means less time available to develop productive physician–patient relationships.
The average amount of time a Family Physician spends with a patient is 13-16 minutes.
MEDSCAPE PHYSICIAN COMPENSATION REPORT, 2017
For Specialists, it varies more widely, but still comes out to 17-24 minutes maximum. A significant percentage of that time is taken up with nonclinical and business aspects of their practices, such as documenting insurance codes.
For physicians, this results in loss of job satisfaction and increased burnout. Patients may feel rushed out the door and that their concerns are being dismissed or ignored.
Listening to and trusting my clients’ instincts are two of the most important parts of what I do in my Health Coaching practice.
Nutrition education during patient visits takes time that many doctors feel they don’t have.
Dietary and lifestyle modifications don’t happen in a single session. This makes it hard for doctors to help their patients implement sustainable changes.
As a Health Coach, I partner with medical professionals in their offices, wellness centers, and fitness facilities to co-create wellness programs for their patients. This benefits doctors, patients, businesses, and reduces the growing healthcare burden.
I love when my patients approach their coaching program as a personal experiment by getting lab work done before beginning and then, again, at completion. Their results are amazing!!
At the start of my health coaching program, I was regularly taking 17 different medications. By the end, I was down to four! This is a huge relief mentally, physically, AND financially.
Are you ready to see huge improvements in your own health? Perhaps, you know what you need to change, but are not sure where to start. Do you need help implementing the advice being given by your doctor? Or are you a doctor seeking solutions to increase patient compliance and success?
I am here to serve you!
Contact me today to learn more or get started.
Adams, K. M., Lindell, K. C., Kohlmeier, M., & Zeisel, S. H. (2006, April). Status of nutrition education in medical schools. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2430660/
Bernstein, L. (2014, June 23). Your doctor says he doesn’t know enough about nutrition or exercise. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2014/06/23/your-doctor-says-he-doesnt-know-enough-about-nutrition-or-exercise/?noredirect=on
Wood, D. (2017, December 27). Average Time Doctors Spend With Patients: What’s the Number for Your Physician Specialty? Retrieved from https://www.staffcare.com/physician-resources/which-physicians-spend-most-time-with-patients/
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. This blog post is general information only and is not to be substituted for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
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