Is My Doctor Even Listening to Me?

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on

Has this ever happened to you? 

You’re sitting at the doctors office and everyone is buzzing around you, barely making eye contact. The nicest person you interact with is the Medical Assistant who takes vitals and then tells you the doctor will be in shortly.

The doctor eventually walks in, sits down at a keyboard and begins to ask you a series of questions you’ve already answered, peppered with personal questions that may be wildly inappropriate – such as “how is your husband” when you’ve been married to your wife for over 5 years and your relationship is clearly documented in your chart – and when you finally have a moment to share your own questions and concerns, they’re ultimately dismissed as “normal.”

[sidenote: common and normal are not the same thing. Having diarrhea 2-4x/day may be common for certain populations, but it’s not normal].

As someone who has had their fair share of these types of experiences working with health care professionals for my own medical needs, one of the most important aspects of my practice is actually listening to my patients. I strive to be present and partner with my patients to help them move toward achieving their health goals. No person is a statistic. No person is a diagnosis. People are multifaceted and complex and living their lives on their own terms.  

My personal hopes for my patients and my patients actual goals may vary wildly. This is why it is incredibly important that I listen to and partner with them to meet the goals they have in a manner that is sustainable and ultimately successful for them.  

I practice Integrative East Asian Medicine. A part of what makes my practice integrative is educating patients about their current health status and how they can address their concerns. This may look like relieving chronic pain, reducing IBS flares, or treating PCOS using East Asian Medicine and also within the Western Medical system. I arm my patients with education, data and scripts to empower them to advocate for their needs and their health goals with me and with their western medicine providers.  

If you feel like you are not being listened to by your health care provider, I encourage you to book a 15-minute complimentary consultation or book your first appointment so we can begin to partner to help you feel your best.