What Does It Mean to Have a Doctor Who Listens?
We are in this technological age where the expectation is that the more imaging and the more tests we do, the better we can figure things out.
I would say that what actually helps a person get better is not the technology and laboratory tests we do but the doctor or healthcare provider who is listening to the client and trying to make sense of what is going on.
Exploring the Power of Listening to Patients in Medicine
A recent client saw me because she had been dizzy for a year. She had multiple advanced imaging tests such as head MRI and head CT exams which were negative.
She had a specialized test of her ears which was negative as well. She had seen multiple specialists including neurologists and ENT doctors. She was referred to the regional dizziness center but there was a ONE year waiting period to get seen.
I saw her at an in person visit and 10 minutes after seeing her, I was able to demonstrate to her that she had cerebellar problems causing her dizziness.
The Impact of Listening on Healing and Recovery
What did I do as a doctor that the other doctors didn’t do? I Listened to her and also had an understanding of how the body works.
I wasn’t trying to name a disease or find the right medication. I listened to her, I knew what tests she had so she didn’t have a structural issue causing her dizziness. She had an issue which affected the function of how her body worked which was best demonstrated by doing the right neurological exam.
At her first visit I got her story and figured out that it was most likely her dental amalgams which she had gotten as a child that were the source of her cerebellar problems. She was started on supplements to help her cerebellum get better as well as to help her sleep.
She also hadn’t been sleeping well for years which affected her energy as well as her body function. Not sleeping well is a form of stress to the body. So we needed to help her sleep better, because a too-stressed body is an unhappy body.
Reaping the Benefits of Patient-Centered Treatment
Having more advanced imaging and laboratories is great but in my honest opinion, it’s not about the tests. It’s about the expert you have entrusted to order the test and interpret the test.
Often, it’s not just the results of tests that matter, but also what they don’t show – making it all the more important to have a doctor who is willing to listen.
If you have any health issue that you don’t feel have been listened to well enough, find a doctor that will listen to your concerns and address them.
I am available, as always, to listen to your health concern. New patients can schedule a free initial consultation. I will listen to your circumstances and we can make a plan to get you back to health.
To your health!
Dr. Richard Chen
Focused Wellness Author,
A New Way to Health: Wheel of Health
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