Guest Post from Mary Shomon
Locating an effective and knowledgeable thyroid doctor can seem like an unending quest. Many practitioners have a severe lack of understanding regarding thyroid health and proper treatment of it.
Many times we stick with a physician because we believe they’re the best we can find, but it’s important to remember that if a doctor is patronizing or compassion-challenged and they leave you feeling irritated and anxious rather than hopeful of healing, it may be time to find a new thyroid doctor.
Maybe your doctor’s bedside manner isn’t that bad, but here’s a list of other red flags to watch for.
If your doctor …
…says you’re fine, you just need an antidepressant
…advises you that you just need to get more sleep
…infers that you’re just using your thyroid as an excuse for being overweight
…suggests with a straight face that you consume far fewer calories – when you know that you’re already eating very little
…dismisses your concerns with “you’re just stressed and depressed”
…decides your TSH is “within normal limits,” so there’s no need to test further
…tells you that you need Radioactive Iodine (RAI) for mild hyperthyroidism, without discussing antithyroid drugs
…prescribes medication with the happy, “helpful” info that “all my other patients are taking it”
…suggests that taking “one little pill and you’ll be back to normal”
…advocates thyroidectomy as “easy” and/or “no big deal”
…says “I don’t prescribe T3 or natural thyroid because “it dissolves your bones” or “it’s outdated,” or “it’s not even on the market”
…tells you that thyroid cancer is”the good kind of cancer!”
…cracks a tasteless goiter joke
…makes light of hyperthyroidism’s typical weight loss symptom by declaring, “I wish I had a case of hyperthyroidism!”
…tells you to “Follow the Script” – or interrupts your visit to speak with a drug company rep
…discourages you from researching thyroid disease online because getting medical info from the Internet is “never a good idea”
…is dismayed to learn you read books by Mary Shomon, Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, Richard Shames, MD, or Sara Gottfried, MD and –gasp! — even follow them on the web
…interrupts your consultation time to take a calls, look at texts, or answer emails
…does a lot of talking, but very little listening
…makes you feel demeaned, patronized, or marginalized
Being aware of the signs of a poor practitioner, knowing the indicators of quality care, and having access to various resources to help you find appropriate thyroid professionals allows you to locate a doctor that not only treats your thyroid but optimizes it.