Fitness Friday: Practicing What She Preaches

May 6, 2011 at 2:43 pm 3 comments

On Monday I had an appointment with my family doctor. Don’t worry your pretty little heads, it was a follow-up about nothing serious. That appointment reminded me how much I appreciate her and her way of practicing family medicine. She doesn’t read this blog or even know it exists, so don’t start thinking that I’m trying to get a special treatment or something.

Our family doctor is really our whole family’s doctor. She saw me through 28 weeks of each of my pregnancies. She follows Derek and, when it came to deciding which route to go with the boys, paediatrician or family physician, there was no question that she would be the one to care for them.

If one of us has a problem, she understands the full family history and relationship. If I take one of the kids for an appointment and I need a refill on a prescription or to check a test result, I can ask the receptionist to pull my file too. She always asks how [insert last family member to visit] is doing. Even the nurse (not the one who screwed up the immunizations) will ask me about the boys when I am there for my own appointment without them.

What’s more, my doctor always asks about all aspects of health including diet, exercise, sleep, and emotional issues. She is the one who helped me discover the benefits of B12, Vit D and iron supplements. Her recommendations are always evidence-based and she usually points me to a reference or source for her advice.

Another great perk – she’s a repeat Boston marathoner. She encouraged me this week by telling me she has only gotten faster as she’s gotten older. This woman is 45 years old, runs (fast) marathons, practices medicine, is (or maybe was) president of her children’s school council and takes summers and holidays off to be with her kids. She has seriously got it together.

But back to the family practice experience:

After an appointment, if I happen to have a prescription to fill, I can take it to the pharmacist in the medical building and she knows the four generations of my family, from my grandmothers to my children, and she asks about them often.

To me, this is what true family medicine should look like. I know I’m in the lucky minority getting this kind of care. It’s really so sad that Ontario (and much of Canada) has such a hard time encouraging and providing this.

Today’s politically-charged question: Would you be willing to pay a fee to get better overall healthcare than you get now?

My answer: I think I get great care now, but if I had to wait weeks to get an appointment for my child or I had to wait hours at a walk-in clinic to get a different doctor every time, then yes, I think I would be willing to pay a fee to get better care. Do I know what this would do to our country’s basic health care system? Not for certain. But I do know that right now, many people are not getting the kind of care that makes sense.

Running Rundown

Everything is posted in km. For those of you who only do miles, 1 km = .625 mile OR 1 mile = 1.6 km

Sunday – 25 km run – 19k with Elation Run Club plus an extra 6 km. Gorgeous day. We all felt great. We ran several of the later kms at close to our race pace.

Monday – 2.66 km run (shortest run I’ve ever measured) – today I used running as transportation and then opted to not go any further. We are a one car family. I got dropped off at my doctor’s appointment and planned to run home and perhaps tack on a few extra kms. I wasn’t feeling it on that rainy afternoon, so I left it as just a means of transportation.

Tuesday – 11 km run with Elation speed training group on a miserable rainy evening – at least the company was good. We did a 15 minute slow warm-up along the river. The main part of the workout was 3 x 2 min fast; 1 min active rest; 1 min fast; 30 sec active rest; 3 min fast; 4 min active rest. Then a 15 minute slow run back. Great workout. My legs felt tired.

Thursday –8 km run on the first dry day in a long while. 3 km warm-up; 2.5 km at 10k race pace (about 4:55/km); 1 km slow; 1 km at half-marathon race pace (about 5:10/km); slow run the rest of the way home. I was given the advice that from here on in it’s not about volume but about intensity, so that’s what I focused on today.

Strength Training Stats

Monday: Greco Lean and Fit class

Friday: Greco Lean and Fit class

So now I’m starting to think about “after the half-marathon”. Can anyone suggest any fun 10k runs for me to do over the summer? I’ve got Do It for Dad on the calendar, but what else?

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Melissa  |  May 6, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    I too have a great family doctor. He gives our family wonderful personal care. I am so, so grateful for that. I called his office for a refill on a prescription for migraines recently, and he ended up dropping off my prescription at my house. Now that is going beyond the call of duty!

    I think the answer isn’t necessarily paying out of pocket fees to circumvent the system but that more should be done in medical school to encourage students to go into family medicine in the first place. Students are sometimes made to feel like “failures” for not embracing a specialty,as if family medicine was somehow “less than”. Also, my best friend is a local family doctor; she is so run down with student debt from med school that she had to go to work to her family medicine clinic after an emotionally difficult minor surgery. Going under the knife in the morning, working in the afternoon, so she can pay her debt and mortgage. There is something inherently wrong with that…I konw things will get better for her in a few years as far as finances go, but she is of the age at which she wants to have babies, etc. I also lived in the United States for years, where we ahd fee based care, and I have to say one of the main reasons why I am not living in the US right now is because I am much more comfortable with the Canadian health care system. Very, very interesting topic!

    Reply
  • 2. Jenn B  |  May 9, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    There is the Cowpattie 10 mile run on Wed, July 20th to benefit Friends of the Farm. 11k and 16k (10 mile) runs around Experimental Farm.

    Reply
  • 3. fitforakid  |  May 10, 2011 at 1:09 am

    So are you in Jenn? Perhaps we should wait till the end of May to register…

    Reply

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