The Doctor In Me

I’m a family doctor and I love to interact with my patients. If they want to know how to help themselves I’m all over that. I can encourage them. I can instruct them. I can treat their illnesses. When a patient shows interest in their health we can have a conversation and we both win.

Outside the office, interestingly, people don’t ask about their health. They often want to teach me. I’m learning to listen, but it is amazing what passes for “knowledge” about health in the marketplace these days. When did eating a meal become so complex? To hear some people, we need to spend double the money to buy protected meat, special vegetables, and pure, unadulterated, ingredients (of course only found at exclusive stores).
Granted, there are people who have special dietary needs, but they are not the majority. Some basic restraint and good judgment goes a long way in healthy eating. I am not and have never claimed to be a nutrition expert, so I have much to learn, but I strongly believe that anyone can health a healthy diet without spending a king’s ransom on special food.

One of the most common questions I get from patients is “should I take this supplement?” It is usually some formulation of vitamins and a dozen or so alternative medicine ingredients. My usual answer is that “no one knows for sure.” It is true that, if you are DEFICIENT in a vitamin, you need a supplement. We don’t test for most vitamins, but few of us today are deficient in most vitamins. Some, like vitamin D and vitamin B 12, are recognized as commonly deficient. We can test for these and it is wise to take supplements if the deficiency exists. Mega-doses aren’t needed and the medicine is cheap. But others can be harmful and most are not necessary. Treatment should be based upon knowledge of deficiency, not paranoia. What is also true about over-the-counter preparations is that the claims made by their distributors are often inflated or out-right fabrication. There is usually little actual research done to substantiate such claims.

What do you think about supplements? Do you take them? What prompted you to start? Are they expensive? Are you healthier now that you are taking them?

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About smcpherson58

Aside from loving chocolate and coffee (not necessarily in that order) Scott McPherson has learned that he loves to write. He writes fiction and, so far, has published two novels. Scott has many varied interests, though he tries to focus on one at a time. He has worked for nearly thirty-five years as a family physician, a pass-time that gives him great pleasure and pays the bills. He has five daughters and dotes upon three grandchildren. Recently married, he really loves life. Scott writes from his life experiences and from travel. His career in the active Air Force was brief, but he has been a member of the Nebraska Air National Guard since just before 9/11 in 2001. The aftermath of that great disaster changed the face of the Guard and led to missions in far-away lands. He has spent time in Turkey, Iraq, Spain, Crete and Guam in missions related to support for Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom. He has been to Iceland and Antarctica as well. Scott has no personal experience with violent death or murder, but has gained knowledge from experts. In his first novel, “A Step Ahead of Death,” his character, Jack Sharp MD, becomes embroiled in a murder mystery. First as suspect, then as amateur sleuth, Jack tries to make a difference. He finds himself right in the middle of an investigation well beyond the scope of a local murder. A man of faith, Scott traveled to Africa with his small family in the 1980s and served as a medical missionary in Zaire (known as Congo today) with a church organization. The vast difference in what it takes to exist in such an environment served as a basis for much of his second novel, a thriller, “Congo Mission.” His character, Jack, is twenty years younger than in the first novel. In “Congo Mission” Jack serves as a physician in a missionary hospital in the jungles of northwestern Zaire. There he is not only captivated by a young woman visiting the region, but falls victim to his nemesis Jacques Levant. His motivations and faith are tested and his resolve to do God’s work gets pushed to the limit. When he is not writing Scott enjoys walking, a practice that actually led to his first attempt at writing a novel. He began making notes and writing prose about the mundane things around him. He tried to make the details sound interesting, even though it was just for his own pleasure. Eventually he found that he could expand his prose to “what if?” “What if I just kept walking?” “What if I, or my character, found a dead body in the ditch along the side of the path?” That was the premise for the first novel, “A Step Ahead of Death.” Scott McPherson is an avid trombone player and has played since he was nine years old. He marched in the Cornhusker Marching Band at the University of Nebraska and now takes advantage of one free football game a year by playing in the half-time show with the UNL Alumni Marching Band. He plays in the Lincoln Civic Orchestra and a community band from the nearby town of Waverly, Nebraska. Scott loves to sing as well, though his range seems to have diminished in recent years. He has sung in college and church choirs and remembers performing parts of Handel’s Messiah as a highlight of his singing experience. One little-known fact about Scott is that he once sang soprano in a boys choir. Scott plans to keep writing as long as the ideas flow and others show interest in his stories. He loves to interact with other writers or readers about what has become a passion in his life. Reviews are always welcome as are questions and comments.
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2 Responses to The Doctor In Me

  1. I usually take an iron supplement if I’m planning on donating blood within the next month. (Otherwise, I tend to fail the iron test and I can’t donate.) Recently I started taking D supplements because I’ve gotten super intense about sunscreen, and so I figure I can’t be producing that as much. Maybe it’s just a placebo effect, but I do feel better, overall.

    • flightdoc says:

      The consensus is that it is hard to take “too much” vitamin D and we all lose iron when we bleed or give blood. There is little controversy on that subject.

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