Tag Archives: how do doctors take a history

Best Docs Listen, Observe, and Test (Pedcast)

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Introduction

Welcome to another edition of Portable Practical Pediatrics! I’m your host Dr. Paul Smolen, also known as Doc Smo. From gestation all the way to graduation, if it involves children, we discuss it here. Today we are going to take on the question of what trait or traits make a great physician? How do you know if you have a just an average pediatrician or you’ve got one that is a cut above? Are the best doctors the ones that got the highest scores on exams in med school or the ones who have seen the most patients? Or are the best doctors the ones that are the friendliest, best looking, and have the best bedside manner? Since I have been practicing and teaching pediatrics now going on 36 years, the question of good doctoring traits is one that I have pondered for some time. Certainly, excellence involves a lot of factors but here is what I have concluded after a my long career in medicine; the doctors who are the best observers, take sufficient time and attention to get a thorough understanding of the child’s symptoms, and then judiciously do testing to either confirm or deny their conclusions–those are the best physicians. In short, the best physicians are the ones that are the best listeners. The famous physician of the 19th century, William Osler who help found the Johns Hopkins Medical Center, said it best when he remarked, “Listen to your patient, he is telling you the diagnosis.” In medicine, this is called getting a good history. ┬áToday we are going to explore the art of diagnosis from a doctor’s perspective. I am going to pull the curtain back on the diagnostic process behind your child’s visit to the pediatrician and explore things you can do to maximize the value of your child’s next visit to their health care provider. Continue reading