I can’t begin to convey the frustration I experience as a patient waiting to see you. If it’s not the overbooking that tests my patience, or the rudeness from your overworked office staff, it’s the brisk ten minutes of time I have with you to discuss my symptoms that ends up being misused because you don’t listen.Let me write this again. You. Don’t. Listen.
Maybe it’s because you’re pressed for time. The health care system is in crisis, and well, you need to see more patients per hour in your clinical practice to offset your financial costs. Perhaps you're having a bad day - or worse, lost your passion and curiosity as a healer and just reach medical conclusions in a perfunctory manner.
Whatever the reason, being a patient nowadays sucks. Why? Because the time needed for patients to accurately convey physical complaints and seek the underlying reasons for their illness isn’t there. For many, the importance of doctors listening from a patient’s perspective is no longer part of the doctor visit.Research tells us that it takes only 20 seconds before a doctor interrupts a patient and directs the diagnostic consult. This is one of the main reasons why 25% of patients are misdiagnosed. And in half of these cases, studies show that misdiagnosis results in serious injury or sometimes death.
Misdiagnosed patients overcrowd the health care system by seeking further doctor visits and receiving additional medical tests to evaluate their symptoms. So, there's a higher financial cost from not listening to patients. And there's a socio-emotional cost too, with misdiagnosed patients feeling helpless and hopeless, slowly giving up on the medical system.
So, in the ten minutes that’s allotted for me to see you at the appointment, please give me a solid 5 minutes. Allow me time to convey my physical and emotional experiences to you in a way where I know I’m being heard - and that you process the information from my perspective.