Should You Trust Your Gut or Your Doc?

By Lloyd Graff

What do you do when your doctor tells you to do something that you doubt is necessary?

I just endured a kidney scan and a cystoscope because I had a few extra blood cells in a urine test. The nurse called me several weeks after the initial test at a six-month appointment and told me that I needed to come back because my test wasn’t “normal.” OK, I’ll spend an afternoon going into the city to pee in a cup. But then the urologist says, “Lloyd, I want you to do a kidney scan and a bladder scope. There is a one in 100 chance there’s anything, but you are the age…”

So what do you do? Tell the doc who has treated you for 20 years, cut into your body and saved your life once, that he’s overreacting or milking the system? The doctor is God, right? Doing nothing could be a catastrophic mistake. Didn’t I miss the signals before my heart attack two years ago?

So I took all the tests. Everything was cool. I’ve got the nasty aftereffects of the scope and I feel like a chump, a dumb sheep who lamely colored between the lines of American medicine.

Question: What do you do these days when you feel fine, but the medical practitioner tells you to worry or take a drug? What do you trust—your gut or your doc?

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11 thoughts on “Should You Trust Your Gut or Your Doc?

  1. Jim Harvey

    Well Lloyd, I had the EXACT same situation, but in my case, the doctor told me that I needed to go see another doctor to clear me for the procedure and THEN he’d do the work. He did a cytoscope, I did the fill the cup (came back negative) and after all my tests came back a-ok, he tells me that he wants to do a biopsy ‘to be sure’. Yeah, to be sure he gets another 10K!

    I walked out and ain’t been back since.

    Here’s a correlation;

    I machine a part for you that’s perfect but I tell you that I need to do it over a couple of times (Charging you for each instance), “just to be sure”. What would you say to me?

  2. Kim

    But, if it didn’t come back negative, it would be a completely different story… the one about the early detection that made a world of difference. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. But hey, it’s your body, if you’re not concerned that’s your choice. But, if you think your doctor is just sending you off for tests to make money and not because he or she thinks it’s in your best interest – maybe it’s time to find a new doctor.

  3. Noah Graff

    What does your “Gut” know? What ever happened to believing in science?

    Now if you don’t trust your doctor for one reason or another or you get a second opinion, fine. Defy him. But you of all people should know that you aren’t invincible and that you only know so much.

    The test sucks. It sucks for physical stress and mental stress on your body. Therefore your gut has quite the incentive to doubt the doctor. It’s biased.

    Again, it all comes down to trust. If you trust your doctor, not to mention science, you do what he says. That’s his job. You’re brilliant at times. But you didn’t go to medical school and don’t have decades of experience, so do the damn test! Not like you’re risking your life, it just sucks. Be thankful you have the means to take the test too.

  4. vera

    well, trusting your gut is what people HAVE been doing, and then they end up having high cholesterol, colon cancer, heart attacks… so i’m gonna go with the doc on this one. not blindly, but if they are showing you test results that are indicitive of and underlying problem, it really behoves you to proceed with further checkups and medication as recommended.
    but what do i know, i’m in IT.
    – vera

  5. eaniakou

    I always trust my gut in these situations. If someone tells me to do something and it doesn’t make sense to me, there’s no way I’m shelling out money or time on it. I just don’t trust that people, including Doctors, have my best interests in mind. We all need to watch out for ourselves. In so many situations its easy to get screwed because we did something people urged us to do even when we knew it felt off. There a saying my husband likes; when rocks are falling from the sky, use your arms to cover your own head first.

  6. Patricia

    Eaniakou… Well based on your husband’s idea of wanting to protect his neck before he’d protect yours I can totally see where you might get your mistrust of people. But on this I would go with my Doc. Now I have an excellent doctor who is totally looking out for me and in a few months I will be having surgery per his recommendation, referral, and encouragement. If you’re going to trust your gut – trust it to find the people and resources that can help do what you can’t… and until I decide to become a doctor I’ll leave that to them.

  7. matt

    trust the power of second opinions. you will find that many docs try to terrify you by acting like med is an exact science, and if you feet them terrible things will happen. you will find that a combo of you and the right doc yield the best results. doctors are at constant odds with each other, a good patient is by no, the best. be confident in asking questions if you don’t get good answers you’ve already got one.


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