10 Health Tips Your Doctor Wishes You Knew

Doctors have spilled the beans on ways to get the best possible care. Here are 10 things your doctor wants you to know.

By URLife Team
01 Jul 2024

Doctors are more than just white coats and stethoscopes, they are life savers in many ways.  Imagine your physician staying up all night to ensure a safe surgery or spending countless hours reviewing cases to provide the best care. Understanding these sacrifices can deepen the patient-doctor relationship and foster a greater sense of empathy and respect.


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Undertaking a medical career is like signing up for one of the most demanding and challenging jobs. Picture this: long hours in the emergency room, the pressure of life-and-death decisions, and the relentless pursuit of excellence. It's a tough gig, and the toll it takes is significant. A 2024 research published in the journal Mental Health Research reveals that doctors are particularly vulnerable to burnout, depression, and chronic sleep deprivation.

Given this reality, it’s crucial for patients not only to get to know their doctors but also to appreciate the immense effort and dedication that goes into their work. 


Related story: Reduce high Blood Pressure With This Doctor's Rx

10 Secrets Your Doctor Wants You To Know

There’s so much more to the medical world than we often realise. To bridge that gap, here are ten things your doctor wishes you knew. From the challenges they face daily to the little things that can make a big difference in your care, these insights will help you better understand and appreciate the people dedicated to your well-being


1. Don't self-diagnose

There’s nothing wrong with looking up symptoms online, but it’s important to take it all with a grain of salt, and be cautious throughout. It's easy to read about different illnesses online and start to think that you might have them, but it's important to refrain from self-diagnosing. Medication plays a crucial role in treating various health conditions, but it should never be taken lightly. Unlike buying into the latest trends, taking medication involves your health and well-being. So, before assuming that you need a specific medication, it's important to see a doctor for an accurate assessment. 


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2. Be transparent about your health concerns

Spill it! Honesty is the best policy, especially when it comes to your health. Don't hold back from discussing any embarrassing or uncomfortable symptoms with your doctor. They have seen it all and are there to help you. Your doctor's office is a safe space free from judgement, and by being open and honest, you are taking the first step toward getting the help you need. Don't hesitate to make that appointment and share your concerns. Your health is worth it, and your doctor is committed to making you feel at ease discussing any issue, no matter how difficult it may be.


Related story: Doctor's Day 2022: 5 Doctors on Taking Care of Themselves


3. Avoid jumping to the worst conclusions

Do not panic if you have a headache and you confuse it with migraine or something more serious. You may have just had a bad day!  Sometimes, you may get palpitations suddenly; it may be due to stress not because you’ve got cardiovascular disease. 

It’s so tempting to jump to conclusions and self-diagnose after getting certain symptoms. But hold on a minute! Let's wait for the doctor to examine you and decide if you need a prescription. Medicine isn't like buying candy—you need to be absolutely sure you actually need it before starting any treatment.


Related story: When to See A Doctor About Heart's Palpitation


4. Relying on Google for everything can be risky

Not all online sources are accurate or trustworthy. It's easy to come across outdated or exaggerated information that may cause unnecessary anxiety and stress. Googling symptoms often leads to worst-case scenarios, which can make you worry more than you should. Without professional guidance, you might end up trying ineffective or harmful treatments. Google can't take into account your full medical history, allergies, or other conditions. It's important to remember that doctors can provide personalised care tailored to your unique situation. They are trained to notice subtle symptoms that you might overlook or mistake, potentially indicating serious health issues.


Related story: 5 Ways To Spot Health Misinformation


5. Avoid taking antibiotics unnecessarily

Taking antibiotics unnecessarily can make things worse. We get it—bunged-up noses and stuffy heads can make you feel miserable. But asking your doctor for antibiotics to treat them is pointless. Colds and flu are caused by viruses, and antibiotics only work against bacterial infections. Taking antibiotics for a viral infection can actually make you feel worse by causing side effects like diarrhoea or thrush. So, it's best to avoid antibiotics unless you truly have a bacterial infection.

6. Get your annual screening done

Take any health screening such as cervical screening, mammogram, bowel cancer screening, or any other routine check-up, seriously. Cervical screenings are important for women over 25, and mammograms are recommended for those aged 50 and above. If you are eligible but haven't received an appointment, talk to your GP. These screenings are essential for early detection and prevention of serious health issues.


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7. Check your moles frequently

Moles can appear anywhere on your body and, while often harmless, they can sometimes be linked to skin cancer. Ideally, you should examine your skin every month. What should you look for? Pay attention to any changes in size, shape, or colour. Speak with a GP or dermatologist at UR.Life if a mole becomes itchy, crusty, bleeding, or pimple that won’t go away easily. If you have any uncertainty or concern, it’s always best to get things checked out.

8. Don’t fall for hyped skincare products

Many ignore medical advice when it comes to skincare. The demand for natural skincare products is growing rapidly due to trends like K-beauty and clean beauty, reflecting a shift towards wellness and environmental consciousness. This has led to a more informed consumer base that demands transparency from skincare brands.

Instead of being swayed by fancy products at beauty stores, it's more cost-effective and beneficial to schedule an appointment with a dermatologist. A dermatologist can offer personalised recommendations and treatments that are tailored to your specific skin type and concerns. 


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9. Take a second opinion if needed, but not from family or friends

It’s perfectly fine to seek a second opinion, but make sure it’s from a qualified professional. Friends or family members with similar symptoms aren't experts. For instance, menopause has around 40 different symptoms and various treatment options, from lifestyle changes to cognitive behavioural therapy to hormone replacement therapy. Different treatments work for different people, so your friend’s experience may not apply to you. Always consult a healthcare professional for accurate guidance. 


10. Certain medication can hemper nutrient absorption

Certain medicines can interfere with the absorption of nutrients in the body, affecting overall health. For example, medications like proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) used to treat acid reflux can reduce the absorption of vitamin B12 and magnesium over time. Similarly, long-term use of antibiotics can disrupt the balance of gut bacteria, impacting the absorption of vitamins and minerals essential for digestion and immunity. Healthcare providers need to consider these interactions and recommend supplements or dietary adjustments to mitigate potential nutrient deficiencies in patients taking these medications.


Related story: Fermented Foods to Improve Gut Health


The primary role of doctors is to provide direct care to patients, but their impact extends far beyond the clinic walls. They advocate for health policies, conduct research, and teach future generations of medical professionals. Doctors play a critical role in shaping healthcare systems and improving overall health outcomes. All of us need to recognise and support these efforts, understanding that a doctor's influence reaches into every aspect of public health and medical progress.

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