fbpx

Intentional Opportunities in Direct Care – Maximizing the Power to Listen

Grace Torres Hodges, DPM, MBA shares that one of the greatest tools that a physician has to help their patient is the ability to listen.

April 13, 2023

“There’s a lot of difference between listening and hearing.” ― G.K. Chesterton

Do you ever think about that in the context of an office visit to the doctor? There is a difference. Listening has an active component to it whereas hearing has a passive component to it. When you listen, you have to interpret, discern and choose the next step whereas when you hear, your auditory senses are being stimulated and responding in a physical manner within the inner ear.

 

I love it when I have a patient come in and tell me, “Dr. Grace, thank you! I can’t tell you how many years I have been dealing with this and when I followed what you said, it’s finally beginning to feel better!”

But what did I do? Why couldn’t others whom they may have mentioned their issue to not get to this point?

My approach was straightforward. When I met them, they told me what was going on.

I asked some additional follow-up questions based on what they told me.

From there, I created and advised them of a treatment plan.

As I tell my patients, “I just guided YOU! I didn’t do anything – you told me what was going on!”

Think about it, it’s true! I didn’t do anything; my patient did.

I can’t MAKE my patients do anything, but one thing that I can do is when someone comes in to see me is to take the time to LISTEN.

As I teach medical students and residents, I remind them that listening is one of the most valuable tools you have as a clinician.

 

“I can’t MAKE my patients do anything, but one thing that I can do is when someone comes in to see me is to take the time to LISTEN.”

 

Take the time to get a good history.

People know their bodies, and when you ask them what’s going on, they are coming to you because something is not feeling well or not functioning like it should.

Give them time to talk, give them time to explain, but most importantly, LISTEN to them!

 

As I teach medical students and residents, I remind them that listening is one of the most valuable tools you have as a clinician. Click To Tweet

 

However, in today’s world of medicine, oftentimes office visits are rushed and patients are run through doctor’s schedules in mass numbers. That usually means 5-7 minute encounters. How can you take a patient history in that amount of time. For that matter, how can a patient give you their history in that amount of time to start with?

One of the many reasons that I practice in direct care is because I am not rushed and can give my patients the opportunity to tell their story.

I am also afforded the time that allows me the ability to listen to them. Yes, I went to medical school and finished residency to take what they say, analyze and formulate a solution to approach the problem, but none of that happens if I don’t get their story first!

It was a student of Socrates, Zino of Citium who is quoted as saying “We have two ears and one mouth, so we should listen more than we say.”

One of the greatest tools that a physician has to help their patient is the ability to Listen. Is your doctor able to practice in a way that they can do that?

#directcaremindset

All opinions published on SomeDocs-Mag are the author’s and do not reflect the official position of SoMeDocs, its staff, editors. SoMeDocs is a magazine built with the safety of free expression and diverse perspectives in mind. For more information, or to submit your own opinion, please see our submission guidelines or email opmed@doximity.com. Do you have a compelling personal story you’d like to see published on SoMeDocs? Find out what we’re looking for here and submit your writing, or send us a pitch.

All opinions published on SomeDocs-Mag are the author’s and do not reflect the official position of SoMeDocs, its staff, editors. SoMeDocs is a magazine built with the safety of free expression and diverse perspectives in mind. Do you have a compelling personal story you’d like to see published on SoMeDocs? Submit your own article now here.

Share

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This learning experience is powered by CMEfy - a platform that brings relevant CMEs to busy clinicians, at the right place and right time. Using short learning nudges, clinicians can reflect and unlock AMA PRA Category 1 Credit.

Of Interest

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

The Unhappy Physician

The Unhappy Physician

Daniel Paull MD explains why he thinks that despite what the public thinks, most physicians are unhappy.

Social Dissections

[SERIES] Social Dissections

Join us in a visual and audio show, where we host light conversations with some of today’s standout healthcare experts.

David Norris, MD, MBA

Negotiate as a Physician and Win

Catch this 8-part series, hosted by physician & business consultant David Norris, MD, MBA & produced by Dana Corriel, MD. Learn to be a stronger negotiator with these important tactics.

Brand Your Social Media Content in a Day

Doctors Exploring Social Media

Raw and real social media-related questions, discussed in a video collection, hosted by Dana Corriel, MD, over a casual – but fun! – virtual setting.

Olga Calof, MD

Olga Calof, MD

My philosophy of care is to personally connect with patients, so we can work together to understand their disease, how it should be treated, and how to modify lifestyle choices to live the best life possible.

Judith Hong, MD

Judith Hong, MD

A board-certified dermatologist who loves and teaches mindful art classes, dance, and Reiki.

Deborah Gutman, MD, MPH

Deborah Gutman, MD, MPH

I coach and mentor pre-health and medical students with a growth mindset for successful applications to medical school and residency.

Want More?

Be a part of our healthcare revolution. Don't miss a thing SoMeDocs publishes!

Disclaimer: SoMeDocs assumes no responsibility for the accuracy, claims, or content of the individual experts' profiles, contributions and courses. Details within posts cannot be verified. This site does not represent medical advice and you should always consult with your private physician before taking on anything you read online. See SoMeDocs' Terms of Use for more information.

follow us

© 2024 SoMeDocs. All Rights Reserved.

Soak up our content & grow

Earn CME

Drop your email address below and we’ll email you the link for earning CME (through CMEfy). Please check your spam folder if you do not receive our email. We’ll also add you to our Sunday newsletter, so you can earn more CME’s reading our content!

Support A Platform that Celebrates Real Doctors

For just $10 a month, you can help keep this openly accessible site available to all & help us sponsor in more doctors.

Interested in subscribing
to our unique content?

Interested in subscribing to our unique content?

I acknowledge that this site is not to be used for medical advice.

Play Video
Our Founder Answers Your BURNING Question

SoMeDocs

“Why should I become a member of SoMeDocs if I already have my own space online?”

Site SoMeDocs Logo, square

WANT TO STAY IN THE LOOP?

DON'T MISS A SINGLE CONTENT PIECE.