Have you ever gone to your primary care doctor hoping you could get some helpful advice on weight loss or changing the way you eat, only to feel rushed through the office and out the door quickly? Have you ever considered paying for a program like Weight Watchers or Nutrisystem or one of the “Medical” weight loss clinics only to realize they can be quite expensive? What if you could get the help you needed without any additional expenses beyond seeing your PCP?
The U.S. Preventative Services Task Force gives a “B” rating (“recommends”) to “Diet & Physical Activity Counseling for patients with Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors” - meaning, it is recommended to “refer adults who are overweight or obese...for intensive behavioral counseling interventions to promote a healthful diet and physical activity for CVD prevention.” They give a “C” rating (“recommended for some”) regarding “behavioral counseling for adults without obesity who do not have known cardiovascular disease risk.”
At Direct Doctors, we often wonder, could the evidence behind counseling patients on diet & exercise be so poor that the USPSTF has decided to recommend it only for people who ALREADY are known to have a heart disease risk because doctors only have 10 minutes to handle all your problems at once and therefore we typically do a terrible job of advising you on losing weight?
In our practice, just like all direct primary care practices, our visits last longer. We average 30-60 minutes with each patient, but willingly spend much longer on topics where counseling is important - i.e. how are you supposed to change the diet you’ve been used to for 35+ years? How could you possibly fit exercise into your busy schedule and how important is it to do so? I don’t like eggs, so what could I even eat for breakfast? Or, why have I never had any luck losing weight?
The list of questions you may wish your doctor helped you answer likely goes on and on. If you’ve felt that you’re wasting your time with a 10 minute visit, try Direct Doctors and see the difference. We believe in prevention - we think it’s worth working on maximizing your health far before you are at “known risk” for heart disease. We think it’s worth spending that extra 30 minutes in the office, checking in with you a couple times a month via text or email, and having you come in to “weigh in” if it helps keep you motivated month-by-month. Or...you could pay extra for a weight loss plan like Weight Watchers and keep seeing your doctor for 10 minutes when you need him!
If this piques your interest, check us out at www.directdoctors.org today to find out more about how we can help!
Lauren Hedde, DO and Mark Turshen, MD are Family Physicians and Founders of Direct Doctors, Inc. a Direct Primary Care Practice.