Posted by Diane Peterson

 

 

 

 

When we feel that our health is not at its fullest, we will often seek assistance regarding either advice or procedures which may help alleviate our condition. In order to accomplish this, we tend to impart trust in the individual(s) whom we seek out for this assistance. It is a poignant demonstration that we are “asking” for help

The confidence which was once bestowed upon the medical health system and its practitioners has been weakening; to a point where more and more individuals are seeking “alternative” health care protocols. But this alternative route in many ways is following a similar path, regardless of the increase in demand for its services.

We understand that every health and medical care system has their advantages and disadvantages; that not one protocol can help every individual. However, are these systems allowing their full potential to be manifested? 

Most all of us have sought some form of health care at some point in our lives and thus have brought back our own opinions from that experience. It may have been positive and encouraging or despairing and disappointing. In the later, we may ask ourselves, “Did the doctor really listen to me”? 

If a protocol fails to produce the desired results, many times the practitioner did not obtain all of the necessary information. Indeed, this can be a time consuming task, but generally it will propagate an educational process for the practitioner, which in turn will help others in the long run. If the environment of communication (listening) is absent, this educational process is shut down, and a domino affect will most likely occur, which eventually diminishes the benefits to others seeking health care in the future.

As an example, to paint a picture, an artist will not begin unless they have the content and materials needed to complete the painting. Perhaps an artist may initiate a painting by either consciously or subconsciously acknowledging “Let the subject talk to me” and this will enable me to work at my fullest potential. The subject “educates” the artist.

When an individual places themselves in the physicians care, there tends to be an expectation that the complaints of the patient will fall upon inviting ears, attached to a focused interest directed at taking all information pertaining to the complaints at hand.

From this, all unrelated circumstances are discarded and the most probable solutions are offered. This is the general situation if the practitioner is listening. 

It is often difficult not to have a prediagnosed solution well before the patient relinquishes all of their information pertaining to the health complaints at hand. In other words - it is often easier for a physician to fit you into their subjective diagnosis rather than undergo the mental research to uncover a completely objective diagnosis.

Medications are then easily categorized to address the most frequently observed health conditions. It is often referred to as “Cookbook” medicine; A + B =C. If the medication prescribed results in some unwanted side effects, then another can be prescribed to address those unfavorable side effects. This is commonly referred to as “prescription stacking.” 

We then ask ourselves, “Were we really heard during our appointment”? “Did the doctor really listen to me and address my questions, or did they become annoyed with me when I continued to ask about details”?  Many patients become frustrated and annoyed which causes them feel as if the doctor either doesn’t have the time or doesn’t know and just doesn’t care. What a way to leave an impression on how a health care provider should behave. Have we ever left a health practitioners office feeling as if we were treated as unimportant or even felt taken advantage of financially? 

Are the systems of health care and its warranted employees losing the compassion with those who seek its services? The practitioner becomes a hired employee of the patient once an appointment is made and therefore is present to perform the tasks which the employer has asked; “Listen to me”! How ironic that a role reversal is staged where the practitioner thinks that they are “the boss” They are hired to reveal what knowledge they may posses in the field of pathology and unveil a possible cure. We pay a fee for what the health care provider knows, not what they do. Interwoven in this knowledge lies the Hippocratic Oath “First do no harm”. Is not being attentive one form of harm? 

Perhaps it is too much to ask for any profession to maintain a certain degree of compassion and attentiveness in today’s world, where silence and peace of mind are a scarcer commodity than honest politicians. 

Compassion may be considered as a sharing or understanding of another’s suffering. Brought into the health practitioner’s protocol, it may indeed provide one of the invaluable ingredients to health care management which is absent today.

 

- By Kevin Meehan