“Can you help me?” she pleaded, with tears spilling out of her dark brown eyes. “I’ve tried everything to lose weight and keep it off and nothing seems to work. I’ve talked to my doctor about it and she told me to eat 1000 calories or less a day. She just doesn’t understand how hard that is.” These were the words of a beautiful young woman who came to my office last week. She was educated and accomplished and desperate to find someone to help her. She was pleading to be understood; for someone to see all the complexities and complications that are the everyday experiences of someone who is overweight. She was also desperate to find someone who could help her lose weight in a safe, sustainable way.
Have you had uncomfortable, unhelpful, or downright painful, experiences when discussing your weight with medical professionals?
If so, then it is time for your voice to be heard!
Unfortunately, too many obese and overweight patients have experienced weight bias and a lack of understanding about the complexities of weight issues from physicians, nurse practitioners, and other healthcare professionals. Such experiences cause people with extra weight to avoid or delay important healthcare appointments such as annual physicals and diabetes check ups, for fear that they will be chastised or treated with insensitivity.
Many medical professionals are eager to know more about obesity, as they did not receive any education on this topic in their medical training. And most have never been coached on how to address weight issues in a sensitive manner. Who better to illuminate them on what it’s like to be an obese person in the healthcare system than you? And who better to tell them what it is that you need?
If you are, or have been obese, you can share your story and get published in an academic journal. Not only will you get to see your story and name in print, you will provide valuable information to healthcare providers about the experience of being an obese patient in the healthcare system.
The Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics is seeking stories from people have been classified as obese about discussions they have had with physicians and other health care providers on weight, weight management, and health.
Inspired by the recent classification of obesity as a chronic disease state by the American Medical Association, The Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics will publish a narrative symposium focused on stories from patients affected by obesity. Writers may submit a 300-word proposal to the editorial office by Nov. 25, 2013.
Click this link to learn more details:
This is your opportunity to educate your healthcare professionals about what hurts and what helps.