Karen Lawson, MD

You are your own health expert


Dr. Karen Lawson believes that each and every one of us is our own health expert. She urges all patients to move forward with that knowledge and pave a new path, one that respects and takes into account every aspect of the patient’s being.

The Interview

I think the first step for individuals who are clients or patients in the medical world is to recognize that you have to go in with the expectation that, “I’m my own best expert in my experience of my health.”  It’s a very different paradigm from how my parents taught me. You go to the doctor’s office, you wear clean underwear, you show up early, you don’t ask any questions, and you do what the doctor tells you.  And you were just this passive recipient of some voice that was commanding what you were gonna do next.  And that’s not the world we live in anymore.

You need to be clear for yourself.  What’s your lived experience?  What are the questions you have?  What are you seeking?  And what feels interesting and attractive to you?  Bring it to your physician first and start there.  Ask your questions.  A good, well-educated, open-minded physician will at least be willing to dialogue with you to see what’s your philosophy, what are you looking for, what they might feel a good first step is.

If people bring it to their doctor and their doctor’s not willing to have a conversation with them, maybe they’re at the wrong doctor.  And that’s the other thing.  To be empowered to recognize that even if you’re doing it with your health care insurance card, it’s still your money that’s being spent. And you’re making a choice.  And you have a right to be with healthcare providers that you feel respect you, and listen to you, and will work with you and what you want.

If it’s not a match that’s ok.  Say, “Thank you, I need to find another physician.”  And find somebody that will listen to and help guide you with your exploration.

 

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