• Do You Trust Your Doctor?

    by Dr. Susan Sklar
    on Apr 14th, 2015

A survey by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation showed some interesting findings, especially when we are compared to other industrialized countries. The American public on the whole has less trust in the medical profession now than it did 50 years ago. 

We have gone from nearly 75% having great confidence in our medical profession  in 1966 to only 1/3 of people feeling like that currently. Low income Americans feel even less trust in physicians than higher income people. Compared to other countries, we rank 24th out of 29 industrialized countries in confidence in their doctors.    

Yet, when asked about satisfaction at their most recent medical encounter, 56% of Americans said they were very or completely satisfied with their visit. The US ranked third in patient satisfaction.  Yet, the statistics speak otherwise. 
In spite of the 56% of surveyed Americans who are satisfied with their care, there are many who are not and are looking for other solutions.  The findings from the 2012 Institute of Medicine Discussion Paper called “Communicating with Patients on Health Care Evidence” showed the following: “…we found that people desire a patient experience that includes deep engagement…We found that people want but do not experience coordinated health care designed to promote communication and shared decision making“. 

In fact, almost 40% of the American public is seeking medical care outside of the traditional medical doctor/hospital system of care according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. In 2007 Americans spent $33.9 Billion out of pocket on complementary and alternative medicine. Why is there so much spending on non-traditional medical care?   

Patients are searching for a different experience. Many people are frustrated by short office visits and being given a prescription as their only treatment. The public is looking for a different way of getting healthy and staying healthy. Your doctor is great when you are sick, but prevention of illness is something you have to do yourself.   

This is what we believe at the Sklar Center. Your best care is the care that you direct yourself. The most important things you can do for your health are the things that only you can do:  eating right, exercising, getting enough sleep, and quitting smoking. Of course you need a guide to teach you how to stay optimally healthy, but the first step is realizing that it’s time to take charge of your own health!

Author Dr. Susan Sklar

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Sklar Center for Restorative Medicine
5000 East Spring Street
Long Beach, CA 90815