Trust In Medicine
We live in untrustworthy times. We see it everywhere. From the news media to the church, distrust is rampant. We have all fallen victim to it. We hear the stories, we are part of the stories. Our skepticism of others rises with each passing day. It only takes one incident of someone misguiding us to cause us to question everyone who follows. Who do we then take our questions to? The omniscient internet. And for some reason, we tend to believe most of what we read there. Especially if we are “doing research” to fact-check what someone else has said. This is evident in my dental office every day while consulting with patients.
Most patients who are seeking holistic dental care have done their research online. They typically have had negative experiences with a previous dentist and are seeking someone with a more holistic approach to care. As a dentist who practices with a holistic philosophy, I love that patients are seeking a different approach after having a bad experience. It means they have hope, they believe their dental care can be better. Or they want to believe. So they approach their new patient appointment being cautiously optimistic. And this is good. Hope is good. But hope has to transfer into trust in order to have a good doctor/patient relationship.
The cultural distrust has woven its way into the doctor/patient relationship, which creates a very difficult situation for the doctor. It seems that I spend a fair amount of time with some patients defending myself rather than spending my energy on utilizing the skills and training I have received to take excellent care of my patients. I have spent my entire life learning and growing in order to better take care of my patients each day. Besides the years spent in dental school and residency, I have traveled wherever I needed to go to follow the greatest teachers and develop restorative and surgical skills to allow me to offer excellent care. I do this because I love it because I want the best for my patients and my team members. And the only way to provide the best is to work towards being the best myself. So when I have a patient who has been with my practice for quite some time and questions me based on what they read on the internet, it tears at the fabric of trust and care that I have worked at building.
Obviously, choose your healthcare providers wisely. But once you have chosen, trust them. Don’t fact-check everything on the internet, because the internet has not devoted its life to taking excellent care of you.