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How to Find a Healthcare Provider Who is a Partner

This is a sponsored post. I was compensated by Med-IQ through an educational grant from Novo Nordisk, Inc. to write about the realities of obesity as a chronic disease. All opinions are my own.

A few months ago, I talked about how I was making movement a priority since we were all sheltering in place. My goal was to maintain not gain until I could see my provider again. 

I’ve done that! I even managed to lose 5% of my body weight which is what my provider had recommended. But now, due to the Covid-19, my provider has closed up shop,  and I need to find a new provider!

I’m dreading it! 

I don’t know about you, but I’m looking for a partner in my healthcare journey.  Someone who is helpful and non-judgemental. 

As a black woman who has been diagnosed with obesity, I am not looking for someone to shame me into losing weight or just tell me to lose weight while not offering any suggestions on HOW. 

Weight is not a simple thing. The discussions we have with ourselves and with our providers  should reflect this. 

We need providers who understand that weight management is not simply about controlling “calories in, calories out” or having enough will power.

But that the body’s biology is in charge, and everyone’s biology is different and unique.

So to be proactive when we are looking for a partner/physician, I wanted to point out  a few things I am going to be looking for( as suggested by Med-IQ Obesity Experts Donna Ryan, and Christopher D. Still) when trying to find a partner/physician to help with through my healthcare journey. I want someone who is willing to work WITH me. 

Not against. 

Someone who knows my history, and isn’t judging me for it.

A good partner is someone who knows all of my medical history, my habits, and my issues but won’t judge me for it. 

That’s harder than it sounds to find! But you want someone who understands where you have been so that they can help you get where you need to be.

Someone who knows they don’t know everything and is open to referring me to others to treat my whole self, not just my obesity.

Because that’s what we all need right? If nutrition isn’t their thing, I need them to be able to refer me to a nutritionist. If I say the pandemic has done a number on my mental health and I eat to stay sane, I need more than just : don’t do that. Refer me to a counselor or make suggestions that can help that don’t involve unhealthy habits. I want someone who is willing to outsource in areas that are not their expertise. 

And when you find your provider, be proactive in starting weight discussions. 

Keep in mind that most providers WANT to talk to you about it! But they are nervous to bring up weight discussions with patients because not only do they not want to upset us, but THEY don’t want to fail US!

Because weight is complex. While many may think it’s a matter of just having restraint, it really is more than mind over matter.

The bottom line is that obesity is a disease.  And we need providers who acknowledge that. We need partners to have Long term success in getting and staying healthy

I’m looking forward to finding a new partner in my journey to being the best me I can. 

What are you looking for in a healthcare provider?

Med-IQ is conducting an anonymous survey and would appreciate your input. The survey, which includes additional education on this topic, will take less than 15 minutes to complete.

Survey responses are shared only in aggregate. Your responses to these survey questions will provide Med-IQ with important information about your experiences with obesity and your care team, which will help us develop future educational initiatives.

Once you’ve completed the survey, you will have the option of providing your email address to be entered into a drawing administered by SOMA Strategies to win 1 of 10 $100 VISA gift cards. If you choose to enter, your email address will be used only to randomly draw the winners and notify them of their prize and to send a follow-up survey as part of this same initiative.

Complete the survey here!!