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Do You Talk Too Much?

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I am talking about office behavior, and with your patients mainly. Sometimes our patients will ask a question, and doctors then feel the need to go into a whole dissertation about chiropractic going all the way back to D.D. Palmer in 1895.

For example, a patient might ask. “Doc, can you help with acid reflux disease?” Do not over complicate your response! Palpate the spine to the area that connects with the stomach. Press on it, and point to your chart of the nervous system (you should have one framed and on the wall in every treatment room) that shows the connection to the organ.

While pressing on the spine, say to the patient “that’s tender right there, isn’t it?” Pointing at the chart you say, “The nerves that come out through here go straight to your stomach. Once we get the pressure off of those nerves, and keep it off long enough for the nerves to heal, your stomach can’t help but get better.”

Pretty simple, right? Too often though, docs aren’t bold enough to do as I described because they lack the confidence, or they try to blind the patient with science by describing every synapse that fires down to the cells of the gastric mucosa.

Many times, it is best not to answer the question right off the bat. Do not assume that you know what they mean by their question. It is usually always best to answer their question with a question or two to clarify, and make sure what they are really asking you.

In my scenario above, you will notice that I assumed that they were talking about a problem that THEY were having. That might not have been the case. A good follow-up question to “Doc, can you help with acid reflux disease” might have been to ask, “Why do you ask?” You might find out that they are asking about their daughter or a friend at work, thus your response would be similar, but quite different.

Keep it simple. Listen well to what is being asked, and talk about half as much as you normally would!

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