The principle of Docere, “Doctor as Teacher”, pertains to the origin of the word ‘doctor’ coming from the word ‘teacher’. This component of the doctor-patient relationship seems to be rarer to find in other aspects of medicine. This principle most pertains to educating the patient and reinforcing that it is the patient’s responsibility to care for their health and the physician’s to assist in that process. To me, this principle has much to do with the doctor being the role model. For instance, when I recommend a patient eliminate gluten or wheat from their diet, and they come to me to discuss how limiting it feels, I pro-offer ways of easing the transition through my own experience. I provide alternative food options, I explain elimination diets and food reintroduction. I support the gut and heal it if necessary.
Thus, I am committed to practicing the recommendations I give my patients and by example am able to teach my patients. I maintain a gratitude journal and practice yoga, mindfulness, and exercise regularly. I am happy, healthy, use affirmations and maintenance dose supplements to further this mindset. Upon determining that I have food intolerances that aggravate my autoimmune disease, I changed my diet. I have explored many different types of diets and other naturopathic modalities to better understand them and how to utilize them in my treatment protocols.
There are many words that my patients (and as a student my attending physicians) use to describe me, one in particular stands out: THOROUGH. As a scientist and an academic I grew up asking “Why?” much to the chagrin of my parents and my peers but it means that when you ask “Why?” I will tell you what I know and investigate if I can’t answer! I work to embody the principle of Docere in every waking moment.