Man deep in thought

Practice: insights to the true self

They told us that treating patients would be easy…

They didn’t always tell us about all the hard conversations…

They didn’t always tell us about the honest hard truths that need to be said, whether you want to say them or not…

Awkward silences, patients that think they know everything already, patients that don’t trust your opinion or advice, knowing that if someone lost weight or walked more most of their problems would be solved. How do you respond in these situations?

Being in practice is not only a chance for helping other people, but it is a chance to gain some major insight into who you really are as a person. Sometimes we get so wrapped up on things in our head, what we perceive is there. And we forget that the other party may not be perceiving the same thing. For example, that “awkward silence”, may be relaxing for the patient, maybe they are running around constantly during the day, and those 10 minutes of peace they get in your office are actually part of that persons healing process.

If we stay open and pay attention, it helps us to find our weaknesses. And once you identify weaknesses, then you can work to change them. One of my major weaknesses in the first year, was not saying what the person needed to hear, because it made me feel uncomfortable. In my head I justified it to myself as ” if it’s uncomfortable for me, then it must be uncomfortable for them too”. Once I realized that I was doing this, I started to change things. Yes, it was difficult, and it was uncomfortable for me to say these things, but the response from the patients was overwhelming! They appreciated it so much more, and took me much more seriously when I was completely honest with them, and didn’t hold back. To see someone completely tuned in to what you are saying, hanging on every word like it’s a life raft in a big deep ocean, is such a rewarding part of patient care.

I challenge all of you other practitioners out there, be honest with your patients, and when you are feeling uncomfortable in an interaction, ask yourself, who is this really uncomfortable for? And if the answer is “me”, then overcome and push through and do or say the things that need to be said and done. Which may also mean not saying or not doing something. Use practice as a way of not only helping other people, but learning to help yourself.


The chronicles of Sharen- Part 56

Part 56- when your bosses 1 patient is more important than your 10 patients. 




This is not the first time this has happened, and every time it makes me so upset, I want to scream. 1 professional athlete > 10 patients in the clinic.

Sharen works with a few famous people as you know, and when one of those people are much more important than our regular clients in the clinic.

We have a laser that we use here, it works well for certain conditions. I use it on a lot of my patients, some of whom come specifically for it.


8:59 am- Sharen arrives at the clinic

9:05 am- Sharen procedees to tell me that she is taking the laser with her.

9:06 am- I tell Sharen, that I need the laser for my patients

9:07 am- Sharen says its for one of her famous clients.

9:07: 30 am- awkward silence

9:08 am- Sharen leaves with the laser.


I understand the importance of taking care of “important” people. It makes you look good if they are happy with you and builds a good reputation in the community. But at what sacrifice? And again this is not an isolated incident, it happens time and time again. When all the focus and money and resources goes to these people, who are only a fraction of the clinic business, the “normal” people, the ones who keep us going, and spread the word about us in the community, suffer. It puts me in an awkward position for those patients who love the laser and come specifically to have that done. What am I supposed to say to them?? They don’t matter as much as the “important” people?

Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think its right. Its another example of the hierarchy here, Sharen > everyone, especially me, and Sharen’s patients > my patients. Enough with the inequality.

The chronicles of Sharen- Part 55

Part 55- When an employee quits…and then the boss tries to fires him….

We have a new employee, he’s been with us 5-6 weeks now. He quit this week. It took him only  4 weeks to realize the craziness of Sharen, and yes it took me longer than that to figure out how crazy S really is.

Sharen doesn’t like to take responsibility, for anything. Whatever happens, it is not Sharen’s fault. For those of you who don’t’ know, Sharen is the boss, the owner of the clinic I work in. As well as not talking responsibility, S takes things very personally, especially when people don’t want to stay working there. S works with some famous people, and therefore thinks that everyone would want to work there with them.

Background-  A, the new employee, is pretty frustrated that S told him things in the interview that are not true. He believes she lured him here under false pretenses, and then when things were not as expected, i.e. the number of patients available for A, S blamed him for the problems. (another case of not taking responsibility). A told me last week that he was going to quit and the reasoning behind.

11 am- A (the employee) sent out a formal letter detailing these issues and that he was going to quit and move back to his home country. S is seething at this point. S calls Ann (the secretary) and tells her to make sure that A is in the clinic, and that she is coming straight over to talk to him.

12:59 pm- S arrives in the clinic. A is not at the clinic.

1 pm-(lunch break)- typical S fashion, bring business into the lunch break, so that the employees don’t really get a break.. anyways… S comes up to me and says, “I think we are going to have to let A go.”  S doesn’t know that I know A is going to quit. So as you can imagine, I’m doing everything I can to keep a straight face at this point! “oh..” I say, Sharen says, “yes, he is just not working out, he is awkward, and too quiet, and I think the other guy will be much better.” (She interviewed another guy at the same time as A). A is still not at the clinic.

3 pm- A arrives back at the clinic. S is meeting with him in the room next to mine. I’m seeing patients.

7pm- A and I finally get a chance to talk. A says, he is going to leave on “good” terms with S, so he is happy about that. But that again S wouldn’t take responsibility for “anything”, such as saying false things to A during the interview, or for criticizing his personality instead of helping him become a better practitioner.

What is really interesting for me, being an outside observer in this, is seeing up close how Sharen tries to 1. justify the loss into a position of control (I am letting him go, instead of him wanting to quit), and 2. turn the fault onto someone else (he didnt do what I said, his personality is weird, etc). Why not say something like, ” well A is not happy here, and will be leaving us, we will get someone else in to cover for him. ” Instead of trying to shift all the responsibility to someone else.

Who does this???

I have never met someone like Sharen before, seriously one of the best manipulators I have ever known, and to be honest, one of the craziest people I have met.