Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Tale of Two Doctors

The doctor should be opaque to his patients and, like a mirror, should show them nothing but what is shown him. 
                                      - Sigmund Freud
                                                                  Earlier this year I experienced back pain like I'd not experienced before. I went to my medical doctor. He felt that I had pulled a muscle. I did not want pain medication so he suggested I try a chiropractor. 

I found a chiropractor. I made an appointment and went. I was examined and x-rayed. I was given an adjustment and suggested I return in a few days. I did return a few days later. I was shown my x-rays and told of all my structural imperfections! He recommended I come in for a series of adjustments, so I could sleep better, so I could stop taking pain medications, so I could have better digestion. I looked at him in amazement! I go to sleep as soon as my head hits the pillow. I doubt if I finish a small bottle of aspirin in a year. And digestion, well without giving TMI, I'm fine! He asked no questions. He made a whole lot of assumptions and didn't really address why I had come to him!

When I told my doctor I couldn't afford the treatment, he offered to touch-up my X-rays. - Henny Youngman

My wife had a swollen eye and had sought the advice of an eye doctor. He prescribed something but a couple of days later, it had gotten worse. I took her to the ER of our local hospital on a Sunday morning. The ER doctor came in and immediately sat down next to my wife and introduced himself. He then proceeded to ask thoughtful questions, taking notes and asking follow-up questions. He looked at me and began asking me challenging questions as well. He was trying to understand lifestyle, behavior, where we had been, what we had been doing, what was abnormal, what was new. He was a medical Colombo! He examined my wife's eye as well as skin around and near her eye. He surmised she had a reaction to an insect bite. He prescribed treatment. AND 24 hours later HE called my wife to find out how she was doing!

The difference between the two doctors: one asked questions, built trust, created a connection; the other made assumptions, forged distrust, created uncertainty.

Think about your leadership, your relationships, your salesmanship, your connection to other people. Do you ask questions or do you give advice? Do you try to connect by being interested or do you try to connect by being interesting? Do you tell or do you ask? Is it about you or is it about others? 

The real insight from these questions will be to ask others about your behavior. It could make a difference in your life!

 The more ignorant, reckless and thoughtless a doctor is, the higher his reputation soars even amongst powerful princes. - Desiderius Erasmus 

1 comment:

Becky R-P said...

This is a good word, Dave. I got called on this myself a couple of weeks ago, when a parishioner said, "I don't need your "right" answer. I need you to listen to me. It smarted for me to hear it, but I'm SO grateful he said something to me!