It has been said that God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason. As a medical provider, using my two ears is exceptionally important in my interactions with patients. When patients are given the opportunity to talk about why they are in the office, physicians can glean so much information before even laying a hand on them.
If given the opportunity, patients will divulge certain clues that can help out tremendously. Are they generally a happy person? Do they like their job? How serious are they about improving their health? This knowledge and other important information should be considered when determining treatment and also measuring if they have an appropriate response to treatment. Doctors definitely have a bad reputation with being inefficient conversationalists. Interrupting, not listening, talking too much (including too much medical jargon), and rushing through office visits are some of the top complaints.
I am not perfect and I have a lot to learn but I hope that by acknowledging the importance of listening to patients, it will help me to be a better doctor. I will be able to understand my patients’ needs and desires and also treat them more effectively and efficiently. If you ever feel like any medical provider is just not listening, take action. Speak up or go elsewhere.