Symptom, diagnosis, treatment

A good doctor must respectfully trust a patient’s descriptions of symptoms — for the patient has privileged access to this reality — but respectfully mistrust all self-diagnoses and treatment suggestions, requests and demands.

Any doctor who will not listen to a patient’s about what they are experiencing and what they think might be going on is not only losing access to valuable information, but, worse, to a personal connection to the patient. But the doctor must sift through the information provided by the patient to determine the most probable diagnosis. The doctor will persuade the patient of the correctness of the diagnosis (versus the patient’s own self-diagnosis), and to accept and adhere to the best course of treatment.

Good parents and good leaders of every kind will accept the doctor’s example as paradigmatic.

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