Experiencing the ride of an electric vehicle should be a relatively silent one.
It wasn’t on this particular day. A bizarre, and annoying hum came from the rear of the car.
Within a second the senior technician now riding shotgun made the diagnosis — a remedy was suggested, then executed, and I was on my way.
Something seems out of place. Something is different. Something is wrong. We all experience that feeling.
Some physicians have mastered it.
Why am I not looking at my computer? Because I want to watch you. There’s no app for that.
A hand was offered to shake, but the shoulder didn’t position the arm well. The scrape on your hand is about a week old.
~This rotator cuff tear will be easy to repair.
A patient is seen walking into the examining room. The gait observed, a foot slaps to the ground. A second opinion for reconstructive knee surgery is requested
~These spine tumors are usually benign.
You look like you’re in a lot of pain, you have a sniffle, and you won’t let me touch your arm. –
~Parsonage Turner can be an awfully excruciating condition.
Another handshake, a wince of pain is recognized — and although the encounter will continue, the diagnosis is made-
~Stenosing tenosynovitis can be a bear when it flares up.
It occurs on the streets as well… it’s almost a curse. The minds eye will pick up upon anything out of the norm. By simply observing an unusual gait or how someone positions their arms to accomplish an otherwise simple task. You know the diagnosis … you want to help.
Interpreting the subtleties of non-verbal communication and observational awareness are under-utilized and under-appreciated diagnostic skills. They take many, many years to master and are invaluable skills for a true clinician.
So the next time you ask me why I’m looking at you “like that” … it’s only because I’m looking for clues.
And if you wonder why a visit is occasionally shorter then you thought might be necessary — it’s because I knew the diagnosis at “hello”.