Western Physical Diagnosis

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Hey there, it's officially midterms and as you talk to your peers you will definitely hear the stress that midterms bring. My tests are fortunately spread out within a three-week span, which may or may not be a good thing. 

But I get a break from exams with my Western Physical Diagnosis class taught by Dr. Ezra Cohen. Our class focuses on examining clinical cases using the western skills we have learned. Dr. Cohen is passionate about teaching students that a patient is a complex being with many factors that play a part in their condition. Not only do you have to consider their physical signs and symptoms, but also their psyche, self-care and environment.

The physician must not only be able to ask a myriad of questions, which will often be answered by only one word, but must master gathering a narrative and asking open ended questions. Often times the physician will have had most of their questions answered and the patient will feel "heard" and not cut off after 20 seconds, which is the typical interruption time of the allopathic visit. Physicians must be skilled listeners but also ask the right questions.  

Dr. Cohen states there are three mindsets of most patients: restoration, chaos or quest.

  • Restoration mindset patients go to the Dr. to be "fixed." They don't take control of their health and seek to be healed and to move beyond what has happened in their life situation. These patients want the "magic pill."
  • Chaos patients are in such a state of chaos within their health, family or job that they don't expect to be back to their original health state. These patients are often pessimistic and very hard to treat.
  • Quest patients are seeking to be well. They have a clear sense of themselves and others and their future but when they are ill they often will loose sense of these. They need the guidance to get back on track and they often follow through with lifestyle or diet changes.

Having a small group of students in our class allows us to explore topics and go beyond the typical structured class setting.  

Until next week, wish me luck on my exams : )

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