All I have to do is ask a patient questions and listen. Well that sounds easy enough. Just talk to someone like you would a friend. This should come easy to me, I love to talk to people, but for some reason when I get into that exam room I flow out yes or no questions. I could talk to a perfect stranger for 30 minutes, but the art of history taking seems to escape me. Someone comes in with a sore throat I automatically ask when it started. All the doctors I have liked in the past cared about who I was as a person, but I forget about that when I am the "doctor." I ask about fevers, chills, drainage, lossing their voice, vomiting, medications they are taking, but fail to ask how their day is going.
The good news is I don't think I am alone, I believe that there are other people who are having the same problem, but still how am I going to change the bad habit of mine? Although we are taught to think of our patients as a cell, I need to first think of the patient as a person. A living, breathing person who has a life that they might want to share with me or what might help me understand this illness even. So instead of thinking how am I going to treat this ilness, I need to think how am I going to treat this person!!!!!
Wow, this is what medical school does to you. I came into school mocking any professor who said a cancer patient and I am even worse. I am talking to people only as a means to getting at their illness. It seems as if I wish I could just look in someone's mouth or take a blood test I could treat them and not have to bother with all this talking.
I am a little bit crushed in this revelation. I have lost the very part of medicine that makes me so excited. So I end for now with a final thought.
......I want to go into medicine because I want to be with people in their troubles and joys and the medicine is just my way of doing that. It is the patients that drive my passion, not the disease......