Everybody Seems to be an Expert, Except Your Family Doctor?

It’s a funny world we live in. Lots of people make a handsome living, defining their work and setting their own fees and hours with little or no formal education or certification

There are personal and executive coaches, wealth advisers, marketing experts, closet organizers and all kinds of people offering to help us run our lives.

In each of these fields, the expectation is that the provider of such services has his or her own “take” or perspective and offers advice that is individual, unique and as far removed from cookie cutter dogma as possible. Why pay for something generic that lots of people offer everywhere you turn?

So why is it, in this day of paying lip service to “personalized medicine”, genetic mapping, the human biome and psychoneuroimmunology that we expect our healthcare to be standardized and utterly predictable?

And why is it that we are so willing to fragment our care, using convenient care clinics, health apps, specialists who don’t communicate with each other and so on? Does anybody believe it makes sense to have your life coach tell you to have a latte if you feel like it because it makes you happy and your financial adviser scorn you for wasting money, never mind your health coach talking about all those unnecessary calories?

In today’s world, almost all knowledge and information is available, for free, instantly and from anywhere on the planet. But this has not eliminated our need for “experts”. It used to be that we paid experts for knowing the facts, but now we pay them for sorting and making sense of them, because there are too many facts and too much data out there to make anything self explanatory.

The information explosion of our era has brought with it an implosion and a near extinction of common sense.

The facts contradict each other:

Eggs are good for you and bad for you. Almost everybody should take aspirin and most people don’t need it. The bread of life is the bread of death. Low LDL is desirable, low LDL confers risk of disease.

I think there are way too many non-medical providers giving medical advice and way too few medical providers daring and taking the time to do it.

Our nation’s doctors are busily checking virtual boxes trying to randomly cover way too much ground instead of meeting their patients “where they are at”.

Kenny Lin, a fellow medical blogger, has a perfect name for his blog, “Common Sense Family Doctor”.

We don’t need more “Experts”. We need well trained, experienced professionals with common sense. Like Family Doctors.

9 Responses to “Everybody Seems to be an Expert, Except Your Family Doctor?”


  1. 1 Paul Terrill, MD FAAFP July 18, 2019 at 6:39 pm

    I decided a long time ago to stop conceding all expertise to specialists. I tell patients that my expertise includes managing multiple chronic diseases at once, sorting out all the various specialist recommendations, and helping make it as simple as possible for them to get the best out of their healthcare. And, sometimes that means telling them that there is a different approach than what a specialist has recommended for one of their diseases that will work better given the totality of what they are living with. I have to earn their trust first, but most folks appreciate having an advocate in their corner who cares as much about their quality of life as myriad quality measures.


  1. 1 Everybody Seems to be an Expert, Except Your Family Doctor? | Health Advice and more Trackback on September 2, 2019 at 11:40 am
  2. 2 Everybody Seems to be an Expert, Except Your Family Doctor? – Health Econ Bot Trackback on September 2, 2019 at 11:42 am
  3. 3 Everybody Seems to be an Expert, Except Your Family Doctor? – BrighterLife Trackback on September 2, 2019 at 12:08 pm
  4. 4 Everybody Seems to be an Expert, Except Your Family Doctor? – Site Title Trackback on September 2, 2019 at 12:16 pm
  5. 5 Everybody Seems to be an Expert, Except Your Family Doctor? – Health Benefits Trackback on September 2, 2019 at 2:03 pm
  6. 6 Everybody Seems to be an Expert, Except Your Family Doctor? – Techno Hub Trackback on September 2, 2019 at 3:13 pm
  7. 7 Everybody Seems to be an Expert, Except Your Family Doctor? – Health News Trackback on September 2, 2019 at 3:48 pm

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Osler said “Listen to your patient, he is telling you the diagnosis”. Duvefelt says “Listen to your patient, he is telling you what kind of doctor he needs you to be”.

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