What kind of doctor do you want? A confident professional, little small talk, and a quick decider? Or how about a caring communicator who acknowledges uncertainty? Many patients might be inclined to select the former…and they would probably be wrong!
Jerome Groopman, MD has recently published a book entitled, “How Doctors Think” and it is must read…if you are interested in protecting your health. Dr. Groopman holds a chair in medicine at Harvard and a clinical practice at Beth Israel in Boston, and does a great job demystifying medicine. He begins by discussing the process of diagnosis – a combination of science and communication skills – and it is the communication skills which many doctors lack. Dr. Groopman believes that most doctors reach a diagnosis of their patient’s problems within seconds of coming face-to-face by gauging skin tone, posture, breathing, energy level and a quick glance of the patient’s chart.
The problem with this reality is that doctors often fail to hear what the patient is telling them about their symptoms. Simply put, many doctors either don’t care or don’t have the time to listen to what the patient has to say. The book is filled with real-life examples of doctors who fail to listen.