As medical professionals, people look to us to have all the answers to your health concerns. It seems like it is a lot of pressure taking into account most of the time when we meet we don’t know who you are! We hope that our training, enough time, and experience will help us get you the answers.
It’s an incredible career of ups and downs and trials and errors. Nothing is ever EXACT in this science. I typically say this is more like an art form; it takes ingredients, the correct timing, and adjustments to deliver the best dish.
I have been increasingly more aware of the old traditional recommendation of “Wait and See” that they taught us in school and it's not the answer patients want to hear. “You mean I have to wait?"
Let’s explore both sides of the coin here:
So what’s the reason some doctors say this?
Lack of experience
Unfamiliar with what clues or measures are objective tests are presented to us
We don’t know how to help you and hope a pill could quell your pain, and you will go away
There is a reason for the wait and see like letting time do its thing to heal muscle tissue
Lack of Experience or we just can’t put it together:
I believe these two are similar and which one is the chicken and which one is the egg.
Not all injuries are created, equally. No two injuries that are created are the same. Finding the cause is important, and lack of experience can bias us to go with what we only knew or first experienced. I believe for “mechanical solution for mechanical dysfunction” or the “square peg square hole.”
Sounds easy enough where people who seek help can get a direct solution and a cure, it’s mutually exclusive right?? Not so! Finding the exact fit is so hard and comes with more training and more repetitions.
Therefore, sometimes we say "wait and see" because we have no clues that help lead us to something we can latch onto a clue. We may not be asking the right questions, patients may not be giving us specific or useful information. So it’s hard to put the clinical puzzle together to fully give one a finite answer. The list could go on.
We Hope You Go Away:
Well, this is just unacceptable in my mind, but I’ve heard it from doctors and therapists alike. I’d recommend those getting some compassion training and or leave their professions. They will most likely hurt someone and commit malpractice.
When Wait and See works:
Transparency is key, and often I suggest to patients that I may have lack of experience in this subject, but I am willing to work with them if they are willing to work with me. I cap it at about five visits to continually modifying and changing your program to fit the needs, and better know you.
Of course, 1-2 contacts with a patient in even a 75-minute evaluation, in my opinion, is not enough to get the FULL picture and those requesting that of us seems unreasonable. (which most practices offer between 30-45 min evals)
The advantage of having more time with our patients:
There is always a trade-off with a cash-based model. I certainly believe there are a lot more positives than negatives (if money isn’t your number 1 priority). If you do believe in getting to know your patients as people first the positive is that we can afford more time and it is indeed more one on one time.
But if one sees the number of patients as '$igns' then maybe money is more of the concern and stuffing patients like a Thanksgiving turkey and seeing as many as one can in 1 hour makes the most sense to getting a bigger payday.
At Rehab and Revive we believe that it is People first, and the Patient second.
Be reasonable but be inquisitive. Your doctors should be more transparent on why they say this.