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BCH Listens: Dr. Amie Meditz: 'Listening is The Cornerstone of The Patient Experience'

BCH Listens: In our latest BCH Listens video highlighting our organization-wide commitment to improved listening, BCH's Dr. Amie Meditz of the Beacon Center for Infectious Diseases explains how listening is something she identified as being important early in her career.

"More than diagnosis and treatment of somebody’s medical problem, what they really remember after they leave is how you listened to them," Dr. Meditz said. "I worked with a physician who had excellent patient responses and I identified that the reason for that was the way that she listened to people and took the time to hear what they were saying."

Dr. Meditz said that listening is the cornerstone of the patient experience. "There are a lot of things going on in health care now that keep listening from being the central feature to taking care of patients," citing cell phones, computers, laptops and technology in patient rooms. "You have to consciously focus on listening."

"Some of the techniques that I use are actually rephrasing what people say to me. The other technique that I use to give people the feedback that they need to understand that I’m listening to them is, ‘What did I forget to ask you? Or, do you have any other questions.'"

Dr. Meditz said the key to listening is taking the time to sit down. "There’s a really interesting article in the New England Journal of a doctor who becomes critically ill. And one of the key things that he mentioned in this article is that physicians would come in and talk to him and he just saw their chins. And that was very unnerving to him."

"One of my primary goals when I started medicine was the satisfaction that I would get from taking care of patients," she said. "Listening makes the stress of what we do every day worth it because you’re getting feedback from people all the time that they feel listened to. They’ll say, 'Thank you for hearing me, getting me through this.'"