Are you sure that you’re giving the best treatment recommendation to every single patient that you see?
Many practitioners have a real fear of over-treating patients, but when you worry about this, what can actually happen is that you end up under-treating them instead. We’ve outlined below how you can avoid getting into this situation in the future, and worry less about over-treating patients.
It’s so important that before you jump into defining a diagnosis and treatment plan for a patient, that you truly understand what outcome the patient is looking for from the treatment. Yes, the majority of patients will be wanting to feel better physically from treatment, but for a lot of patients, this isn’t the end goal. For many patients, getting out of pain or feeling better physically is a means to an end, to achieve other outcomes, such as getting back to doing what they love.
Once you begin to get a really deep understanding of each of your patient’s end goals, you’ll be able to recommend the right treatment plan that will help them to achieve those goals.
For example, think about a golfer who has hurt their shoulder. That patient is not just coming to you to get out of pain, they’re likely coming to you because they want to be able to be able to get back to playing golf. As a clinician, when you understand this, you’re not just going to recommend a treatment plan that will relieve the pain of the golfer’s shoulder, you’re going to think about what needs to happen to their shoulder in order for them to be able to go and play golf again, and recommend a treatment plan based on this.
It’s so important that you really get a deep understanding of the outcomes your patients desire so that you don’t end up under treating them. Patients come to you because they want to get better and want to get back to doing the things they love. If you have an understanding of what those things are, you will then never be in a position of overtreating or undertreating patients – you’ll be able to recommend a treatment plan that’s in their best interest.