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Columnist
Good doctors still exist
By Dr. Peter Gott | Columnist
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Published: 12/21/2009 12:03 AM

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Q. I read your column regularly, and know you get a lot of letters complaining about how doctors treat their patients. I would like to tell you about my cardiologist and internist.

I am a 51-year-old female with mitral valve prolapse, which requires a visit to my cardiologist once a year. At the end of each visit, he asks, "Do you have any questions?" If I do have a question, he answers it, then he asks again, "Do you have any more questions?" I began going to this cardiologist when my former one walked into the exam room without saying hello, turned to his laptop and began typing. The cardiologist I have now is considered one of the best in Memphis, Tenn.

My internist is also considered one of the best. When I visit him, he looks me straight in the eye while I'm talking, taking in what I have to say. He then goes to the simplest solution first, working his way into more complicated ones only if needed.

I trust both of these doctors to give me the best care available, not only because of their reputations as excellent physicians but because they pay attention to me. I hope people will realize that they shouldn't have to choose between medical competence and good patient rapport.

A. I am printing your letter because it is a refreshing change and also proves that good doctors still exist. I have often said doctors are useless without patients to care for, so it is always in their best interests to be attentive and supportive to patients' needs. I am glad that you have such a strong doctor/patient relationship with your cardiologist and internist.

Q. I have been a chiropractor for more than 40 years. Early on in my career, when I read your column, I noticed you had a definite dislike of chiropractors and most things that weren't medicine/medical remedies. You had a medical answer for almost every problem, so I stopped reading your column for a while. Then, when I started reading it again, I was pleasantly surprised to see advice to try chiropractors and more home and natural remedies.

I would like to know what caused this change in you. Was it a personal experience or just seeing what worked in getting patients well? I must say that I copy your remedies and disperse them freely to my patients. They love them. Dr. Gott, thank you for helping so many people to get well.

A. I believe most young doctors suffer from the thought that only "proper" medicine and medical treatments will properly treat a disorder. It is only with experience that we find this isn't always the case.

Over the years, I have found that most patients fare better by trying natural and home remedies first. In many cases, this may be all that is needed. When it isn't, these same patients are then more open to accepting prescription medications or treatments.

I will admit that when I first started out, chiropractors were not high on my list of acceptable specialists. It was only after seeing what these people can do that I came around. My acceptance of home and natural remedies occurred in much the same way. Again, I had to see it to believe it.

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