I Hate Doctors

You read that right…

I hate doctors. They drive me nuts…

Now before you fill up our e-mail with angry notes… Obviously, I don’t mean ALL doctors.

I’m a doctor… After about a decade on Wall Street, I went to medical school. I took on a grueling fellowship in molecular biology at Duke University and had my work published in one of the premier journals in my field, Ophthalmology.

My father was a doctor… Many of the most important people in my life are doctors. Dedicating your life to helping the sick and injured is a noble calling.

That’s why it infuriates me when doctors don’t think for themselves… never challenge conventional wisdom… fail to keep up with the latest research… give knee-jerk diagnoses… assume they can fix everything with a few strokes on their prescription pads…

These are the kinds of doctors I hate… and they are all too prevalent in the medical industry.

I can’t stand it when doctors think they always know better than their patients… when they don’t listen or wait for a patient to weigh their options… or, worse, when they don’t even give their patients a chance to ask questions…

When a doctor’s instinct is that his or her conclusion is always the right one, it leads to dangerous mistakes…

Take my friend Pat’s story, for example. After she went to the ER with unbearable stomach pain, doctors determined she had ovarian cancer. They wanted to start her on chemotherapy right away. All without waiting for a pathology report to determine the type of cancer.

She questioned the doctors and went for a second opinion. It turns out that she had large, benign masses called “chocolate cysts” that are related to a disease women can get called endometriosis.

The surgeons cleaned up several of the larger, painful cysts. And Pat now is both pain- and cancer-free.

Or take the story of longtime reader Henry…

Henry noticed a painful bump on his leg, and his primary care doctor quickly diagnosed it as a viral infection, writing a (useless) script for antibiotics.

Two days later, when he wasn’t feeling better, Henry went for a second opinion.

Henry had a serious staph infection. Once he took the right meds, he healed in a week. But his second doctor told him he’d come within a day of losing his leg.

I’m not saying never go to a doctor for treatment. But remember, your doctor probably isn’t as smart as you think he is

And that goes for me too.

I’ve always encouraged my team to question me.

“Trust, but verify” is a phrase they often hear.

Don’t be afraid to second-guess your doctor. If you get a test result you’re uncomfortable with or want to know exactly why you need a certain test or medication, ask more people than just your doctor.

Now for some Q&A…

Q: Thanks for all the GREAT information you give us! Not too long ago you published the link to unclaimed funds held by states. I checked it out and received a check for $3,350 from the State of Alabama from a class-action lawsuit I unknowingly was a party to a number of years ago. What a surprise! I can’t locate that link. Would you publish it again, please? – J.V.Z.

A: There are several sites you can use to find unclaimed money in your name… Subscribers have found tens of thousands of dollars in lost money using www.missingmoney.com.

But it’s not the only site you should check if you’re missing money. In the most recent issue of Retirement Millionaire, I detailed two more sites to help you find more unclaimed money in your name. Subscribers can read it here. If you’re not already a Retirement Millionaire subscriber, click here to get started today.

Q: Like many others I do not like to floss. Sticking my fingers into my mouth was not a particularly favorite pastime. My daughter, a dental hygienist, gave me a neat Y shaped tool that you wrap the floss around easily and you can floss very easily. Now I am a regular flosser! – L.R.

A: Thanks for the tip. We’re fans of the Y-shaped flosser, especially for people who don’t want to floss the traditional way. As we mentioned in that issue, water picks are another option if you don’t like putting your fingers in your mouth.

Congrats on your flossing success, L.R.

Q: I’m aware that sugar and practically all artificial sweeteners are noted as bad for a healthy diet. What about monk fruit as a sweetener? Any knowledge or experience would be appreciated. I’ve used it over the last month in place of sugar, and it seems to be the best tasting substitute. Obviously, cutting out sweeteners completely is best, but I have a hard time giving up the sweetness in my coffee! – M.H.

A: Monk fruit is similar to stevia in that it’s an extract derived from a plant. That makes it a more natural form of sweetener. But we really don’t know much about using monk fruit as a sweetener. We do know that it won’t cause your blood sugar to spike, and some research points to potential antioxidant properties. The fact is, it’s just not that well researched yet.

Also, depending on the type you buy, it could be blended with a sweetener – dextrose – that does cause a spike in blood sugar. We should also mention that monk fruit sweetener isn’t cheap and can be difficult to find.

Until we’ve seen more research on the benefits of monk fruit – and its safety – we can’t give it our stamp of approval. But we’ll keep an eye on it.

In the meantime, try doing what I do… I put a splash of real half-and-half in my coffee to give it some sweetness.

As always, keep sending us your comments, questions, and criticisms to [email protected]. We read every e-mail.

What We’re Reading…

Here’s to our health, wealth, and a great retirement,

Dr. David Eifrig and the Health & Wealth Bulletin Research Team
April 12, 2019