TMCnet News

[February 08, 2023]


Do you have the right doctor?

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Feb. 8, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- February is the month when a certain groundhog predicts the length of the already-too-long winter and when romance reminds people to show their love. It's also National Wise Health Care Consumer Month—28 days designated for people to focus on getting quality healthcare. Dr. Shana Johnson, of, has advice to put this idea into practice.

Compared to other developed countries that are members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OCED), the United States has a higher number of deaths that could have been prevented with appropriate health care.

The first step toward beating this statistic is to take charge of your health and wellness, the purpose of National Wise Health CareConsumer Month.

Dr. Shana Johnson, a board-certified physical medicine and rehabilitation physician, encourages people struggling with chronic headaches, digestive issues, and back pain to find a provider who listens and understands the role of stress and nerve sensitization in these disorders. Dr. Johnson is the author of Sunbreak, the forthcoming book on treating these conditions. 

"When you have debilitating pain and your medical tests are mostly normal, stress and nerve sensitization may be the missing piece. Nerve sensitization is dysfunction in the nervous system that increases pain levels. It doesn't show up on medical tests. And the treatment is different," says Dr. Johnson.

Checklist for the Wise Health Care Consumer

Dr, Johnson offers a checklist for finding the right provider for you:

  • The right fit. Not every provider is a good fit for every person. And not all providers are trained in nerve sensitization. If you don't feel seen, look for a better fit. 
  • Talks with you, not at you. Look for a provider who explains what is going on and does not merely dictate what you should do. Someone who listens. Someone who makes eye contact, who sees you. 
  • Initiates hard conversations. Seek a provider who will be truthful with you, who can handle an uncomfortable conversation. It is hard to talk about past trauma and mental health but they are important aspects of treating sensitization disorders.

Listen to your intuition, you know when someone gets you and your struggle. And remember, second opinions are invaluable. There is surprising variation in treatment approaches among providers. If you feel uneasy, talk to another provider. 

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SOURCE Ask Dr. Shana

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