Should You Fire Your Doctor? Three Tips On How To Find A Good One

Friday Feb 13 | BY |
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Fire Your Doctor

“You’re looking for a good doctor, I’m looking for a good patient.”
– Dr. Bernard Jensen

For years, I had a sign above the door to my clinic that read: “You’re looking for a good doctor, I’m looking for a good patient.” I borrowed the text from my mentor Dr. Bernard Jensen. He borrowed it from his teacher.

I’m still looking for good patients who are proactive about their health. What does it mean to be a proactive patient?

The proactive patient has a special skill set and a very practical tool kit. This skill requires learning about how your body works, having a clear understanding of healthy states, and a knowledge about the key markers of disease. It also requires a realistic idea of what your doctor can and cannot do for you.
As a proactive patient, you have to organize your ideas about health and healing, separating what works from what doesn’t. You need to discover specific medications, supplements, and treatments that are best for your individual condition.

Because this takes a lot of work, it’s helpful to cultivate a positive relationship with a good doctor. You need one who is professional and experienced in your type of condition—someone who thinks, eats, and breathes medicine.

I call this kind of professional relationship the “3 Ps” (the Physician-Patient-Partnership). In this way you work together with your doctor, rather than being dictated to or patronized by a paternalistic doctor. If you don’t have this kind of relationship, consider firing your current doctor.

Three Tips On Finding a Good Doctor:

  1. Fire your bad doctor. This includes a medical doctor, osteopath, chiropractor, acupuncturist, or naturopath.
  2. Hire a good doctor. A good doctor is essential to getting and staying well.
  3. Take a reality check. If your new doctor is as concerned about a good patient as you are about a good doctor, you just might be in the right clinic.
What is a Good Doctor?

Of course, if you’re healthy, you may not need a doctor. With a little study, you can do much of your own disease prevention. You can even manage most of the issues associated with aging on your own. You can change your diet, plan an exercise program, and complete therapeutic detox and cleansing regimens. You can order all of the most common blood tests on your own, and even learn the basics on interpreting your test results from programs like my Complete Blood Test Blueprint. There are thousands of helpful and authoritative websites and books about health and disease.

What you can’t do is download ten years of medical school and decades of clinical experience. In other words, you can’t think like a doctor, if you’re not trained as a doctor. Even nurses and medical technicians don’t have a doctor’s mindset to navigate the maze of symptoms that patients have or interpret complicated test results to determine the cause of a patient’s condition.

True, some people are better guesser than others, but that doesn’t make them good doctors.

Remember, when you fire your doctor, you also fire:

  • Access to specialty labs and other professional services.
  • The medical and nursing team, and support staff at your doctor’s office.
  • Access to prescriptions and medical grade supplements.
  • Payment for healthcare services linked to your health insurance.
  • Assurance that a medical professional is always there for you when in need, especially if you have to go to the hospital for an emergency like an inflamed appendix.

Of course, there are ways to replace many, if not all of these traditional services.

Other Ways to Get Traditional Medical Services

You can go to a chiropractor or acupuncturist for minor conditions like back pain, or a naturopathic doctor for chronic disease care. Over time, a yoga therapist can help you overcome chronic low back pain with specific yoga stretches.

You can go to a walk-in clinic for minor medical problems like a sprained joint or minor eye infection so you don’t have to pay the high price and endure the long waits in a hospital emergency room.

You can order nearly all standard laboratory tests on your own from online personal lab services, but you’ll still have to use a licensed healthcare provider to order specialty tests for you. In most states, a chiropractor, acupuncturist, or naturopathic doctor can order all medical tests. But if you’re over 65 years, Medicare won’t pay for them unless ordered by an MD or DO with a special identity number.

Even when you find a good doctor, she may not be up on the latest information on health and wellness, like nutritional supplements. The conventional wisdom your doctor employs may be outdate or entirely wrong. You may have to educate your doctor.

Not only does your doctor need to keep up with the times, she has to be ahead of the curve because medical information is advancing so fast. Some standard medical practices that have been in use for years, some for decades, are out-of-date.

Evolution of How Doctors Test You

Test or Exam Name

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be subjected to 1940s medicine.

Why You Need a Good Doctor

Most medical doctors are very conservative in their approach to patient care. A few are more futuristic. One of the medical visionaries is Dr. Eric Topol who gives us a cutting edge view of the technological future of patient-centered care in his book, The Patient Will See Your Now, The Future of Medicine is in Your Hands .

However, Dr. Topol writes more about the flow of medical data and cost-cutting technologies than compassionate care. Patients need both. Data doesn’t treat disease, even if it comes to your iPhone.
There is no replacement for a good doctor. But a bad one is worse than none at all. However, that doesn’t mean you have to, or should, go it alone.

“The self-edited book is as foolish as the self-medicated patient.” Guy Kawasaki wrote this in his book, APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur—How to Publish a Book.

I couldn’t agree more. The average person doesn’t have the training, clinical experience, or the skill in sizing up the seriousness or simplicity of their condition, and doesn’t have access to the best, most effective medicines, drugs, or supplements. They don’t have the knowledge base to access the risks of treatment or of going untreated.

The sick are vulnerable, and susceptible to clever marketeering and unscrupulous self-proclaimed health experts that swarm the Internet. If you get bad advice, they can’t lose their medical licenses because they don’t have them. Because they have no accountability, anything goes, and they are more likely not to have your best interests at heart.

Many research studies show that when people are engaged in their own medical care, they do better than those who are passive and disengaged. A 2015 review on noncontact healing, shows that prayer significantly improves patient wellbeing.

What Is a Good Patient?

When does too much engagement become burdensome to even your good doctor? Remember, a good doctor is looking for good patients.

For my good patients, I want the best. I want them to be treated with the safest, most effective treatments available from modern medicine and the most useful alternative therapies. I want the most advanced science that’s proven safe and effective, as well as time-honored ancient treatments like acupuncture. I want diagnostic tests that take into account genetic tendencies, lifestyle effects, and environmental influences.

I don’t think that’s not too much to ask. You should expect the same from your doctor.
Remember, I’m talking about one of the most precious parts of life: your health. When you’re sick, get help from an experienced medical professional, but make sure he is a good doctor.

Dr. J. E. Williams


Dr. Williams is a pioneer in integrative and functional medicine, the author of six books, and a practicing clinician with over 100,000 patient visits. His areas of interest include longevity and viral immunity. Formerly from San Diego, he now resides in Sarasota, Florida and practices at the Florida Integrative Medical Center. He teaches at NOVA Southeastern University and Emperor’s College of Oriental Medicine.

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  1. June Hanson says:

    Oh, I’ve had all kinds of Doctors. Most of them meaning well, had all kinds prescriptions to mask the problems, but never could explain, what caused it, what natural products or lifestyle change, would help. One, even diagnosed me as Psycho-somatic. Fibromyalgia, spasms, pain, vomiting, blacking out. Put through all kinds of machines, tests, drinks for years. Yes, I, fired them all. Spasms hit coronary arteries, had heart attack.

    Then, I found, Dr Williams! Cardiologist gave up on me. Uncontrollable angina, infections, praying to die. Ordered blood tests. CRP was high, immune system compromised. He looks at every line on tests, sees the problem, works on it, preventing it, before it becomes major problem in the future. Treats whole body inflammation, builds up the immune system. His unique, age old therapies come from years of research, around the world. His wisdom gained from living with indigenous people, learning their secrets of healing with natural plants and their longevity.

    Yes, I hired, one good Doctor, became a proactive patient. Followed his instructions, took medical supplements, exercised, changed my way of eating and life style. His acupuncture, is like none other, customised for your body. Vit C IVs, & l-Glutathione. Put my trust and confidence in him, as my Doctor, also in Christ the Great Physician, prayed much. Faith in both, reaped great results. Also, added benefits that amazed people. Looked and acted younger, full of vitality, in spite of great stress, I was under.

    Yes, he is dedicated. He does not forget you, when you leave. He is always researching, thinking, learning, ways to help you, as his patient. He does not stop, until he has the answer. Doctors like him, are rare, he is truly alternative, yet integrated.

    I have traveled for miles to get his marvelous and compassionate care, for years. Whatever sacrifice it takes to get his help, online, Sarasota, Fort Myers or California, You, are worth it. As, you just said, Dr Williams, good health is precious.

  2. Communication is key in to establishing any kind of good relationship. Both the doctor and patient should have an effective way of understanding each other and promoting what ever is best for the health at hand. Very helpful article!

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