Commentary by Michael Dorausch, D.C.

From ABC news comes an article titled, “The Art of Medicine, Medical Schools Focus on an Old Skill in the New Millennium”

In my opinion, this is an article that should be read by all health care professionals. The article expresses the importance of the “art” in healthcare rather than the “science.”

“Teaching empathy, effective communication and caring are getting more attention and more space in medical school curriculums in the 21st century.”

According to the article, “schools have seen enough signals to know it’s time to teach doctors to talk – and to listen.”

The statement that, “all too often medical students and physicians do not listen to their patients” was made by an M.D. who further stated that “the history a patient tells is more important than the physical examination.”

A suggestion made in the article for educating empathic doctors included having “classes in which students read essays and poems by doctors and patients and write about their own experiences in the hope that a more self-aware human will become a more sensitive doctor.”

On the topic of Art vs. Science a medical student had this to say, “It’s one thing to come in after the first two years of medical school with a lot of textbook knowledge of what’s wrong with people and different conditions that can afflict them, but to be able to talk with them about it and get the information you need to make clinical decisions is a very different thing.”

And according to the article, “ineffective communication accounts for 80 percent of all medical malpractice suits.”

So why communicate?
According to the article, “communication is extremely important in order to empower patients to make the right decisions.” It was also noted that “the Web is now an important avenue for conveying information.”

Successful chiropractors know that empowered patients make all the difference in the world. But how do they become empowered? Something I have learned from communicating with many successful chiropractors is that health care classes are an essential component of the practice.

Probably the most valuable statement made in the article is that “physicians often fail to recognize the gap between their level of education and that of their patients” as a result of being “overwhelmed by all the information they have to assimilate in medical school.”

Remember that “the gap” is not out there somewhere, it’s inside of you. If you think that the “bone on the nerve” or “foot on the hose” or “power that made the body…” does not work anymore, or is too “old fashioned”, you may want to pay more attention to your “gap” better known as the thing inside your skull.

ABC News: The Art of Medicine @ 9:24 am | Article ID: 964023898