Learning to Listen

I know I must listen attentively, it’s the right thing to do

But listening takes effort, and in order to get through

A busy day, I am ashamed to admit that often I

Interrupt patients, tune them out- I won’t lie

I cannot find enough hours in the day

To talk and exchange information in a meaningful way

Therefore I try to cut through every conversation

That becomes tangential or long-winded, to my consternation

Redirecting some patients is hard, and when neither one

Of us is listening to the other, my job remains half-done…


Sometimes in the midst of superficial banter I find

Valuable clues that direct me to a patient’s state of mind

I slow down then, reprimanding myself for being hurried

And pay more attention to elicit what has them feeling worried

I realize that if I listen with my full attention

In just a few minutes I get in-depth comprehension

Of a patient’s major issues, plan a better course of treatment

Which is, after all, my overarching intent..


I’m guilty of not listening well, in my defense all I say

Is that I am prone to being distracted easily during a work day

The pressure of time to get through more patients feels to me

Like a sword over my head, threatening constantly

Despite all this, I know I can listen if I make a conscious choice

To hear my patients, not just my own voice

Published by iheart11

A 30-something year old woman, physician by profession, fiercely passionate about work, family, travel and fashion..

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