Swipe Copy for your Doctor
(a cut and paste done-for-you!)
If you’ve been following along for the last several weeks, you’ll know that I’ve been exploring Self-Health Care after Medical Gaslighting. Through that inquiry, I defined the three steps for moving on to help bypass misdiagnosis or mistreatment to avoid repeat ‘gaslighting’.
STEP 1: FORGIVE YOURSELF (you didn’t know any better)
STEP 2: EXAMINE YOUR OPTIONS (agreements vs. expectations)
STEP 3: TAKE Care (actually take it!)
I also promised that I’d drop some “swipe copy” to use when communicating with your doctor. “Swipe copy,” if you’re unfamiliar with the term, are words you can cut and paste to articulate your needs with professionalism and know-how. In other words, I’ll do the leg work for you. Consider me your doctor whisperer or your private ghostwriter!
As I discussed in my last post, Step 2 includes establishing agreements with your physician. Communicating your needs can help you determine if the relationship is worth saving and what you can get out of it. That understanding will help you to show up to your appointments with more clarity. This is critical while you are considering what your options might be if you cannot change course, choose another doctor, and ghost the practitioner who treated you with disrespect or disregard. In that same post – and this is important to remember – we also considered the clinician may not know any better. They may not know something you know from your research if it’s outside their expertise or standards of care. And if what you’re asking is beyond their scope of understanding, they’re likely not going to do, order, or recommend something just because you asked them to. That’s both the reality of the situation and well within their integrity (as frustrating as it may be).
For today’s swipe copy, I’ll use the context of a patient wanting to see a FULL THYROID PANEL when their doctor won’t order more than a TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone). This is a simple case I’ve heard hundreds of times in my practice. You can use this same simple swipe copy to ask for other markers you’d like to see.
Global notes for communicating with your doctor:
Keep your letter short
Don’t try to educate – stay in your zone of genius (which is YOU… YOU are your zone of genius!)
Mention a few key signs or symptoms that are still unresolved
Take a moment to capture this cadence in the swipe copy:
APPRECIATION, SYMPTOMS, REQUEST
Don’t forget: No matter how great your note, a doctor will not do something they don’t understand. When it comes to labs, that means they likely won’t run a marker if they don’t know what to do with the results
Dear Dr. __,
Thank you for your support as I try to navigate my [list diagnosis or short list of signs/symptoms]. I’m still struggling with [short list of one or two signs/symptoms] and would love your help. Now that we’ve tried [X, Y, Z already explored], what are your thoughts on running a Free T4, Free T3, Reverse T3, TPO and TgAB along with the TSH to give us a broader picture? Are there other tests you’d recommend at this time given my ongoing symptoms?
Thanks again and I look forward to hearing back from you,
Note: If you have a doctor situation that you’d like me to SWIPE for you, write it below or send me a DM on IG @andreanakayama