The eye of the mind

if-cca-pf-image-left-5104079When they interviewed Oliver Sacks, for the publication of(2011), the author of the famous “The man who mistook his wife for a hat” – the title of the book that made him famous also in Italy – explained what it is like, as a doctor, to be in the patient’s shoes, and what changes.

I listen more carefully. I have always tried to imagine what the other felt: trying to put myself on his side. Paradoxically, now I try to pay more attention to what I say. What you say is important. And how do you say it. The delicacy first of all ».Yes, the delicacy. Which, however, is not everyone’s.

And, chatting with the interviewer, he quoted an anecdote: “The doctor who treated me was exceptional. But does he see my wrist? Well, a terrible pain: it mostly happens to writers. I call and this other doctor arrives. He doesn’t even say “Hello”.

Ask a question.

  • He takes the pulse. He raises his arm. He does what he has to do with his machine and stop. I tell him ironically: “
  • Oh, nice to meet you!”. For heaven’s sake: he healed me. But you can’t leave everything to the machine and go.
  • Technology is important. But Martin Buber said: the problem is not technology, the problem is how to humanize it ».

if-cca-hp-2152252These reflections are very interesting; focus attention on some fundamental aspects concerning, in fact, the relationship between doctor and patient.They have to do with you too, dentist friend. Are you a doctor, aren’t you?Have you ever wondered what patients expect of you?What are the things you can leverage to make him choose you over another dentist?

On the other hand, every company is oriented towards the customer, his expectations and his needs.In your case, the customer is your patient.Those of Sacks sound like strategic indications, to the point that, I dare say, you have to consider them your commandments.

Listen more carefully.

It is essential to know how to listen, to empathize with the patient: your dental chair is not exactly an invitation to relax! Those who sit there, most of the time, expect to spend the worst quarter of an hour of their life!

251116-cancer-centre-6241304Make him talk; that you also externalize all the fears of him. A doctor must try to understand what the patient is feeling, and he can also ask him.

“What you say is important. “You are there to heal him but also to reassure him. Faced with a feeling – anguish, annoyance, fear, etc. – the doctor identifies it, investigates its origin. Being understanding, asking the patient, for example, why he is experiencing that particular feeling, can help him to exorcise fears and trigger a calmer climate.

“The delicacy first of all. “Whatever the extent of your patient’s problem, always be careful how you present it to him. “Words are endowed with immense power: they are able to help, to indicate a path, to bring hope.” (cit. Eugenio Borgna).


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