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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Golden Rule of Foot #2: Listen to the Patients, and then Listen Some More

     It is amazing what we think we hear. It is amazing what patients can tell us if we listen to them, and that normally takes some time. Patients should always ask: Are my health care providers listening to what I are saying? It requires time, and a desire to listen, even when you think you already know the answer. For, when you listen, you will hear more richness than mere answers to questions.

     I work in a clinic, and a very nice one at that. My wife and I have long decided that this is the best place for me until I retire. I am very slow and do not care much for the details. Being an independent contractor, I can see one to 4 patients per hour (my choice). What pays more? Your guess will probably be right, but I tend to chose the one patient. The world says that this is sad. Reality of bill paying says that this is sad. Many times I doubt my dedication to my family. I should be bringing home more income. But, I have never ever doubted my dedication to my patients. And I give them the time they need, or I need, or we both need. But, time is all we got to give another human being. In that time, things can happen. Wonderful things.

     I saw a patient Erica today. Probably spent over 1 hour with her. She had seen 2 other practitioners before me who missed the diagnosis of her broken heel bone. It was a quite obvious diagnosis. Why did they miss it? I bet time restraints. Too much on their plates. I was not smart, no need to brag, needed an MRI for the diagnosis. It all just took time. Probably my lack of desire to be a good provider for my family actually helped me be a good doctor to Erica. The world tells me this is sad, but my heart is happy. I helped Erica today, and Joseph, and Cheryl, and several others. This is why I told myself in high school I wanted to be a doctor. I wanted to help others. And it starts with Listening.


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Thank you very much for leaving a comment. Due to my time restraints, some comments may not be answered.I will answer questions that I feel will help the community as a whole.. I can only answer medical questions in a general form. No specific answers can be given. Please consult a podiatrist, therapist, orthopedist, or sports medicine physician in your area for specific questions.