Don’t worry, Mr. Genius isn’t becoming a surgeon. Today, I decide to unload about some of the pet peeves of mine upon starting this long road trip to MD/PhD town. I’m still learning to not take things personally when I hear people on the internets bashing modern medicine and doctors but that doesn’t mean I’m just going to stay silent about it. So here goes – a random rant from your average ma in the kitchen.
Myth: Doctors learn nothing about nutrition in med school.
I can’t speak for all medical schools but Mr. Genius had a few lectures on nutrition at his. Sure, they cram a crap ton of information into the first two years of classes and constant testing before throwing them into the pool of clinical rotations and residency where they really learn to sink or swim, but nutrition is seriously NOT neglected. I’ll see if I can get a hold of those lecture notes as proof (he saved a forest and took notes on his computer).
How things are at our house: Thanks to one of his lectures Mr. Genius shared with me back in the beginning, I began sticking to the habit of serving two sides of of fruits and/or vegetables with dinner rather than just one. We aren’t always perfect but fruits and vegetables are a big deal in our house, be they fresh or frozen, home grown (still learning there) or from the grocery store. I’ll support my local farmer’s market when the budget allows but you won’t catch me paying 50 cents extra for an organic bag of carrots at Aldi. Fruit juice is a treat or for sick days as, though the label may say 100% juice and/or no sugar added, there’s still a lot of sugar and you’re missing out on the dietary fiber from the fruit skin. Just like the online nutrition class said, there is no one “superfood”. A balanced approach to nutrition is key.
Mr. Genius also had lectures on self care as medical school is no easy, breezy, beautiful stroll through the park. After one of these lectures, he came home with two marbles. These were to be a physical representation of two things he would refuse to give up during his schooling. One was his family and the other was computer games. As long as the kids and I come first, I’m game with that. They really do try to take care of students at this medical school and hopefully, once the students become doctors, the patients benefit as well.
Myth: Doctors are all about treating diseases rather than preventative care and don’t talk about nutrition or exercise with their patients.
I’m going to pin accountability on the patient with this one, not blame doctors completely. I’m going to make an assumption (dangerous, I know) and suspect most people likely don’t go to a doctor unless they are feeling unwell. Notice I say MOST as yes, there are those who are good and get checkups well past their childhood wellness checks. I suspect those people are also good at getting their car/furnace/etc tuned up on a regular basis. Man, I wish I could be that organized. But seriously, how many go to a doctor when they’re feeling fine? I think I need a poll because Google has failed to bring up any numbers for me on this. In the comments, let me know if you see a doctor for a wellness check up and, if you do, how often is it? I doubt I’ll get enough results but if so, we’ll see if I need to eat my hat… (P.S. I’m not counting dentist visits.)
As for me? I drag my resistant kids in for their checkups but not so much me unless Mr. Genius is worried I might have Lupus or a brain tumor/aneurysm because he’s learned about all these awful diseases (it’s called “medical student syndrome” and is similar to when the average layperson googles their symptoms). And because of that, I have seen a doctor or two who have talked with me about keeping up good nutrition, low impact exercises, and the most important piece of the puzzle I have the most trouble grasping – good sleep hygiene – to keep, not Lupus, but Fibromyalgia at bay.
Myth: Doctors make lots of money off vaccines.
I just had to throw in a #3 to make a nice odd number but seriously, think about it. Doctors and hospitals would make a crap ton more money off treating the diseases these vaccines help reduce and even prevent. Morbidly thinking, mortuaries would also benefit greatly. That’s all I’m going to say on the matter for now, if necessary.