5 Questions You Must Address
With any new patient interaction there are always elephants in the room. ⠀
These create noise. ⠀
These unspoken preconceptions from both parties muffle the communication interplay. ⠀
As the guide for the encounter, your role is to wade through the noise and identify and address the cornerstone concerns. ⠀
Answering these 5 questions often casts a wide enough net to wrangle up most of the loitering elephants. ⠀
1. What’s wrong with me?
With as much clarity as can be provided, let the client in on your theory as to what may be driving their symptoms. A great way to gauge the level of detail to be provided is to imagine them relaying this conversation back to a parent, spouse, or friend. Will they be able to confidently explain what you told them?
2. What can you do to help?⠀
What is your role in the process? What service will you provide and how may this evolve over the course of care?
3. What can I do to help? ⠀
What can the client do to help move this process forward. What will be expected of them?
4. How long will this take? ⠀
Is there an expected healing time for this condition? When should they know that the interventions are helping?
5. What are my options If this doesn’t help?
What is plan B if this initial plan doesn’t help? Do they need to see another provider? Try a different philosophy of care?
Interaction example: ⠀
“Mrs. Smith based off of our conversation and assessment your issue is likely being driven by some combination of A, B, and C. This is a normal process and certainly something our bodies can adapt and heal from. We are going to try D, E, and F first. We will do D and E together here and I would like you to really focus on F at home. In 2-3 weeks we will re-assess and adapt based on how things are going. If things are not moving in the direction we would like in 6-8 weeks I will likely recommend X”
Do not mistake the need to address these questions with the need to provide answers or certainty. Simply provide possibilities and perspective. Follow up with actionable steps and check point for follow up. Let the patient into your process and initiate a dialogue that will help you to have transparent feedback and data to change lanes throughout the process as needed. Clients are not seeking certainty, they just want to know there is a well thought out individualized plan. Make them a part of it.
Dr. Keith Barr has highlighted the importance of combining loading and targeted nutrition, including collagen, for tendinopathy recovery. This case report does an excellent job of breaking down this research into a practically applicable format.
Baar K. Stress relaxation and targeted nutrition to treat patellar tendinopathy. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2019;29(4):453–457.
Dr. Andrew Huberman is a neuroscientist and tenured professor in the Department of Neurobiology at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He has an excellent podcast that will deep dive the underpinnings and evidenced based management of many of the physiological sticking points we face. This episode is a excellent overview of pain and pleasure sensation that will be a helpful review as well as an interesting reframing for many.
Seth Godin delivers again with a succinct but powerful book on how to become a pro, find your creative voice, and deliver by embracing “The Practice”.
Social Media Follow: Rob Pacey @Sportsmithhq
Rob has an excellent podcast (Pacey Performance) and this account does an excellent job of highlighting some of the “best of the best” from the show and more