Have you ever walked out of a doctor’s clinic feeling like you were not able take the right approach to talk to the doctor and get your points across or that physician didn’t listen to you?
It happens to a lot of people. Sometimes, it feels pointless to have visited the doctor in the first place, since they were not in the room despite being physically present, or did not let you explain your problem to the point that you explained every trouble.
The problem is that we walk in our consultations and procedures thinking that the doctors and medical professionals will magically be able to deduce everything by just looking at us. The real life in dissimilar to ER or Grey’s Anatomy, where there’s little focus on conversation that happens in an actual doctor-patient encounter.
Here are a few things you should know before your next medical appointment.
You are one of the many patients your medical expert talks to in a day
Anyone who has ever worked in an industry where face-to-face customer encounters take place knows the stress that comes with dealing with different people.
Medical professionals, on top of going through a mix of easy-going and difficult patients, are stressing about a backlog of pending test results, emergency cases and unresponsive management staff. You can’t expect them to be empathetic from minute one of your appointment.
Making assumptions before explaining all your symptoms is unhelpful
We live in a tech-driven world, where people are engaged at least in five different digital conversation every day, conduct about ten web searches and look at dozen of images on Google about their condition before they step into the doctor’s office.
This means that medical experts today are communicating with patients who punctuate descriptions of their symptoms with “I read that it’s…” or “I think it may be…” to often and miss out on telling them everything the expert needs to know
And that does not help. You’re trying to be both the patient and the professional in the presence of an actual professional.
Know that medical experts face burnouts too
Medical professionals are supposed to stay on top of their game. It’s their job. So if you have had a bad encounter with your doctor, it might just be possible that you caught them on a bad day.
According to the Cleveland Clinic’s study on symptomatic burnouts, an average of one-third of physicians meet the criteria on any given office day. If this is the case with your doctor, then they are going about their work with high fatigue and lowered listening skills.
Burned out medical professionals are also likely to show less compassion and provide low quality care to patients.
You can work on great communication with your medical expert
Doctors and physicians, they’re generally superheroes. Their jobs are all about other people. And sometimes, superheroes need a bit of help too. Here’s how you can make sure to talk to your doctor in a manner that they will listen:
- Say hello first, and make sure to have eye contact. If you want someone’s full attention, good interpersonal skills help.
- If you feel that your problem is serious, or that you may not be able to explain it without your medical expert’s undivided attention, let them know.
- If you feel like they are not listening to you, don’t give up or get angry. Take a deep breath, focus, and ask them, kindly, if they are distracted, and that you want them to be present.
It may sound odd, since you are the patient, but remember that the person on the other side is a person like you. Trust us, you will have a much more rewarding experience at your next medical appointment.
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