How many of you out there prescribe your own medications? Nobody wants to admit it? Okay, I’ll raise my hand. I’m not talking controlled drugs here, only simvastatin.
Once upon a time, I did see an internist. Initially, I was on atorvastatin (Lipitor), but when Zocor became generic, I switched to it. I’m a busy doctor, and it was easier to just take it over myself than ask him about it or have blood drawn regularly.
I must admit, I’d probably fire my own patients for similar behavior, but suspect this sort of thing is quite normal for doctors. After all, we have too much going on with juggling patients and family and meetings and such to have time for this.
I’m not defending this. Any of us know that we shouldn’t be our own patients. But my conversations with other doctors indicate that I’m far from the only one.
I suppose if it were something more complex than dyslipidemia I’d see someone for it. At least, I hope I would. At heart, I’m a coward and thoroughly lacking confidence in anything outside neurology.
It’s an odd paradox of medicine that so many of us, while preaching to our patients, often ignore our own advice. Or don’t follow it as we should.
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. Sometimes, a lot is even worse. Even knowing this, I still won’t stop writing my own simvastatin prescription. Like other doctors, I just don’t have time to do it otherwise.
Dr. Block has a solo neurology private practice in Scottsdale, Ariz.