When Suzie Orman mentioned that it is business should be “people first, money second, things last.”
It resonated with me years back. I thought about this long and hard and how we should apply this to medicine. It’s been a long time since this happened for our western medical culture.
Typically, you would see impersonal engagements where doctors are ready to pass on their patients to the assistant or quickly offer a solution that is devoid of the patient’s needs and concerns. So what are people in pain searching besides a cure?
The way medical practices should be:
Patient awareness is key and instrumental for change in our medical professions. This is something I spoke about to the medical world in 2014 in my book Rehab the Mind and Revive the Body. It was met with much resistance due to the “unprofessional” nature of how we COULD engage with patients. I still feel this is about a few years ahead of its time, but in a world of being “objective” we’ve cut off the human ties. I’ve stood convicted on my thoughts and the stories behind this book. Tying my past and my current medical knowledge and experience is what makes my experience with others more transformational.
We are in this together. Figuratively, I become their legs when their legs cannot and arms when the arms cannot. Then we slowly empower them to take it back. I want them here to be true “Pain managers and not pain victims.” We’ve gone to stand behind computers and not even touch our patients and then how can we quickly come to a conclusion? The truth is we can’t.
If you’re missing this anywhere, please seek those that care and even willing to invest their emotions instead of hiding behind the wizard curtain like the Wizard of Oz.
The doctor’s touch is key in evaluating and making ourselves real to patients. But in the end, a compassionate heart and open mind are what I find most appealing to people who are in pain.
When someone doesn’t feel heard it’s because no one took the time to listen. I think as a patient myself all I cared about when the solution wasn’t easy (I didn’t care that they knew or didn’t know) but that they were willing to find out and go on this journey to help me if they didn’t seem to have a cause. So often someone was willing to pass me on or send me to a specialist. I knew my nerve pain symptoms were complex. But needed just a little human element. Patience!
People to People and Human to Human:
That’s what counts. I ask my staff to care for strangers on the phone who call in to try to spend those who are willing to up to 20 minutes getting to know them and LISTENING. When’s the last time you called an MD or PT office and found the other person on the other end short, insensitive, or even rude? No why did you feel that way? Not to defend other practices most likely they were just trying to get the information, data entry you, and get you into the doctor ASAP. It’s efficient...but that’s not what a patient in pain wants.
We sometimes can skew this wrong or feel hurt because we are “Paingry”. Paingry is when in pain often we are short, impatient, scared and we lash out in anger because that’s the feeling we get when no one seems to understand or get us. Believe me, we understand that it’s not personal. Often we revert to a childlike form needing to be soothed by something...ANYTHING!
But you don’t have to be alone; it’s not so singular as it seems. Just help us help you. Communication is the key to bridge us.
Having the patience for our patients is key and time, when rushed as medical practitioners we don’t get all the juicy stories of when and where and how and the chronology of how this injury preceded the next. This is important, and to have this we need TIME. 15-20 minutes just scratches the surface, but 75 minutes now we have a decent picture into one’s life and habits and even to understand one’s quirks and learning ability or traits.
This isn’t a surprise here why we have such a success rate with our outcome measures, of pain, decreasing, function regarding walking, standing, sleeping, and sitting longer, and objective gains in core strength and range of motion increases. I don’t always think it is about the techniques. I think it’s about kindness in a time of need.