Are You On The Case Influencing Your Doctor

I published this blog today at Big Think.  It’s about how doctors and patients develop “frames” that guide how they relate to each other and that these frames have a significant impact on healthcare outcomes.  Learn how you might alter your doctor’s responses to you and how you might be contributing to ones that are dysfunctional. 

As an extra aside, communication is a lot like chess.  You may have read that here before or in The Secret Handshake.  Every action by one person, including nonverbal, limits or expands the options of the other communicator.  When we walk by someone and say, “How are you?” we are not really asking for a long answer — perhaps not any at all.  We’ve learned that this comment limits the options of the other person if they have been socialized to understand it.  They, in turn, know that their options are limited to a short reply if any is given at all.  Most of how we communicate signals other people to consider their response options based on experience.  If, when we communicate with doctors, or they with us, the response options are limited in ways not conducive to good healthcare, the outcomes suffer.  So, it’s wise to take a good look at how your doctor influences your choices as well as how you may be limiting his or hers.  Does your doctor’s manner of communicating, for example, elicit from you a tendency to agree so as not to cause upset?  Does he or she look into your eyes as if interested in what you have to say?  Or, do you feel rushed and therefore resist saying things that may be important?  These are only a few examples.  Consider how your healthcare is being influenced by communication choices your doctor and you make.  It could save your life.  It could certainly hinder or facilitate wellness.

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