The Placebo Effect?

Many articles have been written about the mind's ability to help the body heal and I truly think this is perfect case in point.

I don’t like going to the doctor, and I would venture to guess that most people reading this column feel the same way. The whole process is an exercise in frustration; from calling to make an appointment, to getting put on hold before you can even say a wordMike Auerbach (This is Dr. Smith’s office please hold “click”), to sitting in a waiting room with other sick people and their germs; it’s a royal pain. But when you feel icky you don’t have much choice -- and off you go.

I hope it doesn’t sound like bragging when I mention that I have two doctors. Our family uses one medical office, with three doctors and a few physician assistants (a general practice, if you will) for the basic stuff, like when your cold isn’t getting any better, and you throat starts to hurt, and you just know that you need an antibiotic to help you get rid of the bug in your system. I also have my diabetes doctor who I go to every three months or so for a check-up. I happen to like him and appreciate his promptness and straight forward attitude. He knows me and I trust him.

A few weeks ago I wasn’t feeling great and after the requisite time for it to “go away by itself” has elapsed, I decided to go see a doctor. I made an appointment at the general practitioner’s office with whatever doctor I could get the earliest appointment and went. He read through my chart, examined me and gave me his diagnosis along with a prescription and off I went. I didn’t feel really comfortable with his diagnosis, and never filled the script. Subsequently, I made an appointment with my diabetes doctor, who examined me and came to basically the same conclusion. He wrote me a prescription which I immediately filled, and within 12 hours I started to feel better.

Why the difference? I'm not totally sure. But I am sure a lot of it has to do with the "placebo effect." Many articles have been written about the mind's ability to help the body heal and I truly think this is perfect case in point. I felt more comfortable with one doctor than the other and it influenced my recovery.

What do you think?

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