…what would it be?
A doctor reached out to me and asked me the same question, because she’s giving this presentation to medical students regarding patient-centered care and how to best help them… but I’m lobbing it to the family. If you could influence the way doctors treat Black women with health issues or simply women with weight issues in general, what would it be? I mean, certainly anyone could chime in here with their stories and tales, but it’s most important that these answers give insight to where health care has gone wrong and how we can improve it.
Here’s what my answer was:
That being said, if I had to provide one bit of advice to doctors, I’d tell them to not judge their patient by their perceived situation, or your individual perspective of who they are and what they are capable of. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in running this blog, it’s that there is a lot lost in translation – we’re often so busy waiting on someone to say what we’re expecting them to say, that we miss all the important things they’ve already said. For example – there’s a post on my blog that talks about “fat prejudice in health care,” and there are countless examples of women who have received neglectful care because they were fat. It was assumed that they were stupid, unable to care for themselves, lazy, and any number of other negative characteristics simply because they were overweight.
It is far too common, in this country, to find people who literally DON’T understand that fruits, veggies and lean meats are the most integral parts of a healthy lifestyle. That’s fruits, veggies and lean meats… not Lean Cuisine, not Marie Callendar, not ANY processed food. They think they’re doing it right, get no weight loss, and then wind up already feeling depressed because they can’t control it. When doctors treat them poorly, it only perpetuates the self-loathing which, as a post titled “self compassion is a key component of weight loss” might show you, does not help further a doctor’s goals of helping their patient.
I hope that helps a bit.
That was my answer… what’s yours?