Medicine is often called an ‘art not a science’. This statement is true in one respect and false in another. The artfulness of medicine takes place when a physician interacts with a patient. Unless there is mindfulness on the physician’s part and the ability to pause and observe the patient, a lot will be missed. This is similar to going to an art gallery and spending enough time to really appreciate the works, as opposed to rushing through a slide show if images of art. Modern clinical medicine is more like the latter, while at our clinic we strive to be more like the former. When I started Warner Orthopedics and Wellness, my primary concerns were the patient’s experience and comfort along with making the correct diagnosis, taking the entire patient into account and providing the best treatment. It is impossible to achieve these goals unless one has the time to really talk with a patient. It is also impossible to achieve these goals unless one actually examines a patient and really spends time looking at all of the diagnostic studies. It is equally impossible to provide the highest quality care unless one is willing to continually question the status quo, read and learn.
In most clinics in Baton Rouge community, a single physician will see around 50 patients each day. In an 8-hour day, that means that each individual person, no matter what their personal pain and experience may be, is allowed to have exactly 9.6 minutes of the physician’s time. However, those 9.6 minutes assumes that the physician is not looking at imaging, not doing paperwork or charting and takes no phone calls or other interruptions during the clinic day. Obviously, anyone that has been at a doctor’s office knows that this is never the case. Taking all of the daily nuances of modern medicine into account then, most clinicians may only spend about 6 minutes with a patient. In addition, it is rare to find a doctor willing to step outside of their habits and to learn new skills and techniques; doing so slows down a 50-60 person daily clinic.
In my opinion, 6 minutes is not enough time to spend with the patient. To truly appreciate a patient and understand his or her problem and its impact on their body and life, you must ask questions, listen, examine the patient and then ask more questions and listen even more. At Warner Orthopedics and Wellness, I have limited the number of patients to be seen each day so that I can spend an appropriate amount of time with each patient. Medicine should be treated more as a science and less as a business. Scientific study requires a great deal of knowledge, continuing education and the simple abilities to observe, listen and think. At our clinic, each member of the clinical team works to ensure that wait times are minimized and that the patient experience is maximized. At Warner Orthopedics and Wellness, we promise to do everything we can to make the correct diagnose and to offer the best treatment possible; even if we must refer you to a different provider. We treat every one of our patients as though he or she were one of our parents.