How often do we listen quickly to a request, or to a brief description of some symptom picture?
Do we really give our patients our 100% focus, and dismiss the temptation to avert our gaze from that patient in front of you to catch the attention of another person?
I hear similar things from patients who claim that their doctor gives them no eye contact because of the steady and unwavering attention to the screen in front of them.
Are we just as bad?
Has technology adversely affected communication at the medical frontlines over the last decade?
The loss of “therapeutic attention” is a deeply worrying perception for many patients in these times.
Are we dominated by so much administrative weight that we just can’t spare the time anymore?
Imagine if we could actually sit down, lean in and deeply engage in a patient-centric conversation?
Give it a try once or twice a day and see what a difference you can make.
Remember, we are a very trusted profession – privileged to be in a position where people trust us so much.
We owe it to them to give them our full undivided attention.
Write things down to help them remember your discussions – that will be interpreted as being studious and not as being engaged in the computer screen stare.
We are, for the most part, deeply emotional beings at heart.
There will always be times for focused attention, the feeling of being listened to, and cared for. In any case, for the next several decades, plenty of people will still be members of the generation that grew up without excessive technology, and value more traditional communication.
A wellness author once said “The greatest gift you can give another is the purity of your attention”.
Let’s all remember that!