Medical school teaches us open-ended questions are best. We are told to avoid interrupting patients, allow them get their whole story out before we jump in—to prompt them only with nods or gentle “hmmm’s” and maybe a “tell me more.”
But years of practice can erode this open style. Experience focuses our questioning to what we need to make decisions. Time pressures force impatience. A building waiting room adds urgency. We become more directive with patients. We begin to trust our own shaping of the narrative, not theirs. We just need to get to the point.
I had succumbed to this myself, especially by practicing in Acute Care settings.
But my last pregnancy brought me back to my listening roots.
More in my latest for Doximity.