Do you have as much faith in your physicians as you did 20 years ago?
Do you respect him or her as much as your parents or grandparents respected their doctors? If you have to go into the hospital, do you fear you will come out sicker than when you went in?
Do you think your doctor cares about you or even knows you and your family as much as a decade ago?
Does your family's health revolve around diagnosing diseases instead of enjoying health?
Do you think of diseases as your own, like "my diabetes," "my arthritis," "my reflux," instead of MY HEALTH?
Is your medicine cabinet full of prescription medication no one explained the use or dangers of?
Is the fear of being diagnosed with a deadly disease dominating your life?
Does your doctor ignore your opinion and discard options he/she isn't trained in? Like acupuncture, supplements, stem cell therapies, chiropractic medicine or naturopathy?
Does the never-ending stream of conflicting scientific studies that come out almost daily make you wonder if there is anything or anyone in medicine you can trust?
If you answered yes to any one of these questions, you are part of a loud yet totally ignored majority.
More and more people are finding that the health care system we live with has gone from health care to health scare, and they want to protect themselves.
It's time for this silent majority to start having a voice. A loud, strong and health care-changing voice.
Needless to say and clear to pretty much every American is the fact that we are in the middle of a total and unquestionable health care meltdown.
Since the publishing of my new book Don't Let Your Doctor Kill You a month ago, a day doesn't go by that I don't receive dozens of emails from people all over the country sharing their own personal medical horror stories and their families and friends' terrifying and often deadly experiences with our broken health care system. They ask me to listen to their plight and to guide them on how to improve their own health care journey and prevent others from making their terrible mistakes, falling down the same seemingly never ending rabbit hole. The call to action is loud and strong. Clearly America is ready to make a major change.
We all know the time is right!
Sick and tired of politicians and special interest groups driven solely by the bottom line, making all the major decisions in our individual health care, we need to take matters into our own hands. Before this runaway train terminally runs off the rails and greed finishes off and destroys our quality of life completely, we need to take back our own health.
Let this blog be a call of action.
Let us start a revolution that will improve health care for all of us. Let's start with a few small points and grow together from there.
Here is what each and every one of us needs to do. It's simple and the most powerful change each one of us can implement starting today.
It starts with a change in perspective. This change in perspective will unequivocally change our entire experience.
1. Eliminate fear from the equation of health. Stop being scared of missing a disease. Let's focus on being HEALTHY and PREVENTING disease.
2. Fire all arrogant and uncaring doctors. Do not allow them to touch you, prescribe for you, send you for tests or perform any procedure on you.
3. Tell the truth. The most important truth is that no doctor lives inside your body so the doctor doesn't know best. The doctor has NO IDEA HOW YOU FEEL.
4. Just say NO. NO to arrogance, to being diminished, discarded, erased and treated like we are inferior to those in white coats.
5. DO less. Stop and wait before doing a test or a procedure and get a second opinion and a second perspective. A second perspective comes from someone who won't be making money off the test, the procedure or the medication in question.
6. Talk to each other. Communicate and share our stories. Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I promise to connect all of us and really start the movement to protect each other and take ownership of our own health. Your stories will inspire others and together we will implement THE change!
7. Let's decide we are not afraid of disease or the doctors who scare us into submission and let's walk away from bad health care. The option to not get any care at all may not be the worst one to consider.
8. Work ONLY with passionate, caring and respectful doctors and walk out on anyone who doesn't care.
9. Your health is in your hands and only with the right partner we can make it work.
10. Let's make a final New Year's resolution to become part of the health care revolution and pay it forward. Each one of us is the key and we all matter equally. Patients, doctors, friends, family, the entire country.
Happy New Year and let's start a revolution in health care together!
Dr. Erika Schwartz is an internationally recognized health and wellness expert and founder of Evolved Science, a personalized medical group with headquarters in New York City and offices in London. She is a New York Times bestselling author whose most recent book, Don't Let Your Doctor Kill You, was published in November by Post Hill Press.