When Should A Doctor Not Listen to the Patient?
Please take a few moments and
consider the question: when should a doctor not
listen to the patient? This is a serious question
that requires a serious answer. I know it is
socially fashionable to protest that doctors do not
listen to their patients. I am a physician and I
have been guilty of that sometimes.
So when should a doctor not
listen to the patient? While doing a physical
examination, a diligent physician must listen to the
voices of the body organs, not the mind of the mind.
Most people do not recognize that. They ask
questions or insist on relating past events. This
creates clutter and the doctor cannot hear the
voices of the tissues in distress.
Many people have undiagnosed
nasal polyps which block the entry of air. In many
cases, even modest reductions of oxygen supply
caused by polyps add to the oxygen-related
problemsóread, all chronic disorders. So I try not
to complete my examination without carefully
examining the nostril, even when the patient insists
on talking during the exam. On such occasions, my
patients and I are not on the same page. Recently, I
saw a highly allergic patient. I asked her to look
into my eyes as I examined his eyes. Then I moved to
examine huge polyps in her nostrils.
"Dr. Ali, your eyes are
beautiful," she remarked.
"Your nose is full of mucus and
polyps," I said.
A nurse in the room broke out in
an irrepressible laughter and I saw the disconnect
between my words and those of my patients.
The moral of the story: Every story does not have
to have a moral. Still, please do not insist on
talking to your doctor during the physical