In Your Words  |   May 2016
The Benefits of Being a Patient
Author Notes
  •  *Address correspondence to David Drozek, DO, Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, 106 Parks Hall, Athens, OH 45701-1359. E-mail: drozek@ohio.edu
     
Article Information
Cardiovascular Disorders / Endocrinology / Hypertension/Kidney Disease / Being a DO / In Your Words / Diabetes
In Your Words   |   May 2016
The Benefits of Being a Patient
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, May 2016, Vol. 116, 331-332. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2016.071
The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, May 2016, Vol. 116, 331-332. doi:10.7556/jaoa.2016.071
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1
As the 1991 movie The Doctor so well portrays, becoming a patient can be transformational for a physician. Such was my case. 
When I hit my 50s, I followed the recommendation I have so often given to patients and went to see my primary care physician for a well patient visit. Much to my surprise and alarm, I was not so well! I knew that I had gastroesophageal reflux disease, which I was self-treating with over-the-counter medication. What I didn’t know was that I also had elevated fasting blood glucose levels, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. I was in a bit of denial about being overweight. As a surgeon, I knew plenty about the complications of diabetes, and I had no desire to experience them myself. My primary care physician pointed to a chart on his wall that showed the usual progression of prediabetes to diabetes, as well as the positive effects of medication in delaying that progress. I didn’t need any convincing. 
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