Sometimes, you have to walk into the room like you own it. You have to believe you can diagnose and heal anybody that walks in. Why?
It’s not because you truly feel like you are the best. Instead, its done for the patients sake. The patient will trust you much more if you believe yourself.
Unfortunately, you have to think of yourself as a salesman. You have to sell them on your plan. They have to believe that what you are doing is beneficial and will work (hopefully it does).
This can be especially difficult for new clinicians, because you aren’t truly sure of your abilities. The problem is the patient will pick up on your sense of insecurity. This will make it difficult for them to take your suggestions and follow the instructions.
This insecurity will be felt the second you walk in the room. Therefore, the first step is to enter the room with confidence.
You have to command the room. You have to walk in the room, introduce yourself, shake the patients hand, and maintain eye contact. Walk in erect, shoulders back, and chest out. Body language is very important. Never look down or cover your mouth when you speak. Whenever words are spoken, they should be said with intent and confidence. No hesitation. This is much easier said than done. Practice makes perfect here.
This arrogance is nothing more than an act. This is no different than an actor playing a role. The patient needs to see that the person caring for them is in control and will take charge. They do not want to see someone who is insecure or unsure of what may happen.
The unfortunate reality is that you don’t alway know what will happen. The practice of medicine is not an exact science like many believe. Rather, medicine is nothing more than a series of educated guesses. Hearing that we base our decisions on probability, instead of fact, will not go well with your patient.
They want to know that whatever you choose will in fact heal them. The interesting thing is that if they truly believe in you, the majority will improve. The mind is incredibly powerful and sometimes belief is all that is needed; hence the placebo effect.
Now, don’t get me wrong. There will be patients that want to hear the truth. They want to know that you don’t know and nobody knows. They want to know that this may or may not help. Those are the rare patients, but they do exist. You will know who they are once you are out in practice speaking to different personalities on a consistent basis.
The patient is there for help. They want to feel like they will be cared for. Give the patient this comfort. Sometimes, thats the only medication they need.