Talk and Communication

"Talk is cheap. Communication is priceless."

Speech is so important in the present age that it is hard to imagine life without mouths flapping and words flowing from them. Yet, there must be times when we all wonder if our wind is worth the effort, especially when we remember it takes two to have a conversation.

Practitioners in the health care field likewise use abundant oral questions looking for helpful answers in their attempts to get to 'the bottom of the case.' However, they too often follow rote litanies in search of similarly rote responses. When they do, they will likely find what they are looking for. But, will the result be good for their customers: patients with unique and personal problems?

Of course, conversation and dialogue are two-way affairs. It is as much the responsibility of the patient as it is the physician to make a clinic or hospital visit a productive moment. When you encounter a doctor in the course of an examination for illness, injury, or simple checkup, be prepared not just to respond 'yes' or 'no' to his/her questions.

Turn fill-in-the-blank queries into essay questions. Make up your own questions as you go along so that when you return home, you understand more than when you left. Don't constrain yourself to 'the case' only, but ask questions so that you can also get to know the creature at the other end of the interview as much as you want him or her to know you.

Many people wish that the old-time country doctor was still in business. The search may not be in vain when there are old-time country patients on the lookout for that supposedly dying breed.

Most importantly, two-way expansive communication needs to be renewed not just in the physician's office, but also in the home and in the school and in the shop and in the field. Practicing sensitive communication in itself can go a long way towards healing what ails. A thoughtful word can be a powerful preventive or an effective antidote for the venom of many an illness.

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