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Lessons or Doctor’s Orders
Monday, September 24, 2012 7:56 pm Email this article
Recently, in my office, I changed the Eight Lessons to the Eight Doctor’s Orders, because I was bothered by the number of people treating my lessons as guidelines or recommendations, instead of as express orders. Patients such as Katelyn whom I saw a month ago, losing over 40 lb in two months, ALL learned the Eight Lessons by heart, word for word, in order–not that the order matters. Such people take life seriously and get real results. Everyone else is just fooling around.
MY MOTHER would never have dreamed of not following her doctor’s orders, even though back then, her doctors had little knowledge and few good tools. What’s up with the people coming to me now thinking they are just going to take pills and ignore what I said or wrote?
You will notice–my wife did–that the two sides of my life are in conflict. On the one hand I want patients to follow my orders; but on the other hand I want them to stop following other doctors’ orders, if the doctor recommended statin drugs, treated blood pressure under 150/100 or did other silly things described in my book Medical Myths Doctors Believe.
I see no way out of this conflict, but I am not troubled by it. Each of my positions is based on scientific evidence or long-term practical experience (the two sources of true knowledge, page 4 of Medical Myths Doctors Believe). No one is allowed to disagree with me unless they have read what I have read (and I will read what they have read). Senator Daniel Moynihan once said, "Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not to their own facts."
Nothing I have asked fat patients to do is intellectually difficult or physically hard. I spend time lowering life-stress, helping people organize their life, and getting adults to grow up. In no other way could I have gotten so many people to lose weight and keep it off. The pills help, no doubt, but I still have to do the other things.
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