My hipster doctor

I was due to get a checkup from the doctor last month. Having gone to college in a city 7 hours away from my hometown, however, meant that my usual family doctor was also 7 hours away.

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Nah, I’m just joshin’ you. As much as I would have loved to visit home, I decided that it would be better to find a doctor around Boston. Because, you know, 7-hour drive and all.

Of course, this also meant that I had no idea which doctors in the area were reputable. There are so many– how could I choose? I ended up just logging into the my health insurance’s webpage and choosing a practice at random.

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I scheduled an appointment at Visions Healthcare, a relatively new practice with buildings in Wellesley and Dedham. The website was shiny and polished, after all, and they based their methods on “cutting edge biochemical evaluations.”

Therefore, last March, I found myself waiting in the office of a doctor I had never met. I was the first patient of the day, and the doctor had to settle herself down first– so I had a few minutes to look at all the diplomas on her wall.

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Right next to my doctor’s conventional MD diploma was a smaller certificate for an MD in acupuncture. I didn’t even know those existed, so I was taken a bit aback.

My doctor came in and introduced herself and the practice.

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Hmm. I’m a cynic at heart, so I was already a little doubtful. Still, since I had just started Weight Watchers, I figured I would listen to what she had to say. My mom had wanted me to visit a dietitian, but if this lady could give me some pointers, maybe I could save myself some co-pay.

So when she started asking me about my health, I responded in turn. Diet? It wasn’t great before, but getting better. Exercise? Yes, I go to the gym whenever I can. Emotional health?

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Did my doctor just recommend meditation to me?

Yes. Yes she did. In fact, she did it twice.

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She did offer some reasonable advice. I should cut down on sugar. Eat more leafy vegetables. Eat more nuts, and also a little more red meat. (Though she insisted on grass-fed meat only.) She decided that, to know more, I should get a number of tests.

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I was planning on getting some blood work done regardless, so I rolled with it. I was curious, and maybe she knew what she was doing. Most of the tests were covered by my insurance anyway, except

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For some reason, this place didn’t send you your results in the mail. Instead, you had to schedule a follow-up appointment with your doctor a month later to discuss your blood work. Thus, a month later, I found myself back in my doctor’s office.

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My doctor sat down and looked at my results.

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My other results seemed to check out, though. Low cholesterol. No diabetes. A little low on zinc and iron, but nothing a few vegetables and steaks couldn’t fix.

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And that was my visit to Visions Healthcare.

Call me a skeptic, but I think that’s going to be my last visit to my hipster doctor. She gave some solid advice, to be sure– but next time I want a service that’s half good intentions, half advertising, I’ll just go to WebMD.

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