Time is of the essence

Laura listens 

  1. What brings you in today? How long do you think you need to appropriately respond when your doctor asks this question? In a 1999 Journal of the American Medical Association report, 300 visits to twenty-nine board certified physician were audiotaped to understand how long the typical family physician allowed their patients to respond before interrupting with the next question. How long is the average time the doctor gives the patient to respond? Two minutes? A minute? Nope… 18 seconds. If you are a physician reading this and think its just because the docs have to cut to the chase to get to the point, think longer. The study found that once the patient is interrupted, they never get back to the full reason for their visit, leaving out critical information that could easily have closed the gap on the differential diagnosis.

    In our Western society the trend towards chronic disease poses a challenge to the existing health care model. It is not difficult to see that the rising rates of complex, chronic disease creates an unsustainable burden on the economy and existing health care system and increased demand for Naturopathic services. This is why ND's are often sought out. Somebody needs to listen. It is because naturopathic doctors have the privilege to invest about an hour for first appointment and about a half hour for most follow-ups, our model of approach tends well to the chronic condition. In Ontario, under the OHIP medical system many citizens have their healthcare for "free" so the need for primary healthcare from an ND has, in the past, been limited.  Now that insurance companies recognize the benefits holistic care, they include coverage in most employee health benefits programs. 

    Naturopathic doctors are regulated and trained as primary healthcare practitioners. Like MD's we obtain an undergraduate degree and attend four years of recognized, professional medical college.  In our training as a primary care provider, we consider the body as a whole: an integration of the unique biochemical individuality. We recognize that disease is a process on a continuum and illness is the result of imbalances in a complex system. Because we take into consideration the full spectrum of health; body, mind, emotions, spirit, we need more than the conventional 15 minute appointment. It is within this approach we can better observe patterns and pick up on nuances that can make a difference in a clinical diagnosis. Not only that, it can lead us to understand what may generate conviction for an individual to take ownership of their health.  

     

  2. One thing Laura has learned in her time as a solution-building consultant in the business world is the importance of listening. Years of finding just the right way to ask a question, and then allowing the silence to be filled with all that needs to come out, is a skill she has developed well.   Whether it is the person on the shop floor or the chairman of the board, Laura listens. You see, everyone has their story, their life experiences and this shapes who we are and how we come to be. It was in this time Laura realized that where the real change needs to happen is on a personal level. When people are physically fit, mentally adept, emotionally aware and have an inspiring purpose to get up in the morning, it can make a difference in not just that one person’s life but in those around them. Companies are made of people and unless those people are operating at their best potential, neither will the company. Laura believes people need to be heard.

    To merge the listening and solution building skills together with the developed skills of a naturopathic physician, Laura combines her love of the natural sciences with her joy of meeting new characters and inspiring positive change. When Laura asks “what brings you in today” be ready for her to listen.