Today I Learn… I make a point of learning something new everyday. This is what I learn each day

1, May 24, 2010

The Nature of Physician-Patient Encounters

Filed under: work — admin @ 1:31 am

On a Saturday, May first, a friend of mine came over in the morning, asking us to accompany her to a doctor’s visit as her English is not up to the task. She needs a physician to confirm that her muscle pain is job-related injury. She asked us to help her describe the incident so that it sounded convincing to the physician. Since she had muscle pain before, “What if the doctor finds out that it is not a new problem?” she asked.

“You describe what has happened on that day from your perspective. The doctor makes medical decision based on what he hears and what he discovers through examination. Nothing can alter what he observes and what he believes. What he believes is also influenced by any preconceptions that he might have,” I explained, not sure if the listener could follow it.

This touches the nature of the encounters between doctors and patients. Some patients are of few words, thus revealing little of themselves, while others might be full of words. But the doctors know not to take literal meanings out of a patient’s mouth. They always interpret what they hear and observe. Objective decision is never truly objective. So it is between a doctor and his patients, so it is true with any human communication. We think we have made ourselves understood. However, without further feedback, we can never be sure of that.

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Powered by WordPress