Laughter is the best medicine. And listening too.

As cliche as it sounds, it has its truth. This applies in the practice of medicine too.

Of course I don’t just laugh my ass out when I treat my patients, that would be totally inappropriate. Did it once when I was a freshie, totally got backfired. The patient whom I saw told me that I should be serious with my profession, and that statement itself, has etched at the very back of my mind until today. So there’s a limit as to how much you should express yourself too.

I have health colleagues who asked me, “Why do you always smile?”. And my response, “Why shouldn’t I?”.

Do you know that patients find at ease, the most, when they are greeted with a smile when they enter a doctor’s room? The matter a fact, no one would want to meet a sulking looking fella, especially when you’re meeting someone for the first time.  Would you not find it pleasant, when you attend a job interview, the interviewee greets you with a smile? Giving you an unpleasant look would definitely knock your circuits off.

Even when you’re in a difficult situation, be it an angry patient (who’s getting angry for no apparent reason, or at least a logical one) or sad, depressed one, a smile would help to soothe issues out.

However, at times, we need to just remind ourselves not to rush in seeing a patient too. Seeing a patient in a hurry not only causes you to miss stuff, makes you a less empathetic person too. At the end of the day, what the patient needs the most is not the medication you’ve prescribed, just a pair of good ears. If you do take time to listen, each and every patient has a story that they would want to share with you. Of course it’s not plausible to entertain each and everyone of them, but at least be selective to those who really needs it. And when you do, you’ll find yourself given the best medicine that they’ve ever needed. Your time and patience.

Anyway, just sharing my thoughts out loud. August’s my favorite month. Gonna take my time to enjoy it. Remember, to smile and listen.

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