We are family
Some days it hits me. We are family to our patients unlike any other doctors they’ve known. Why? It’s because we listen, we’re patient, understanding, and working from a wellness perspective not a sickness model. Do you think chiropractic chose you or you chose it? I know chiropractic chose me, pediatrics chose me, and I fulfill my purpose every day. Let’s celebrate you, our profession, and the people we serve.
How do we serve?
It’s unfortunate - but true - that as chiropractors, we’re not always the first stop. We work tirelessly sometimes to solve a patient’s problem, giving our heart and soul in every adjustment and treatment. We serve our patients by being the ear that listens and the hands that heal. Mostly we enrich their lives by putting all the pieces together to solve what may be ailing them, and for children in particular this can change the course of their lives. To parents, we’re a source of knowledge and support, striving to treat them with respect and honor the traditions and philosophies that ground us to heal. Our little patients look forward to returning to our offices, running in the door and greeting us with a hug. We are home!
How do we heal?
Many of you think, “with my hands of course” and yes, you’re right. Yet, is that ALL we offer? No. We heal with our smiles, taking that extra time to listen and be the light in patients’ lives - the light that never dims but empowers them to keep going. In taking care of children this is a large part of my day, working to give strength to a mother of five, explaining things so parents and kids understand and having “the talk” with a dad who thinks his wife is crazy for trying alternative care. We’re doctors and healers, and this isn’t only what we do but also who we are.
How are we family?
Ever had a patient tell you his or her family doctor was in the room for two minutes and never made eye contact? I’ve heard this complaint from mothers for years. We are different. As chiropractors, we invest in someone’s wellness. This includes talking about hobbies, relationships, and work. We all know how these things affect patients’ health, and this gives us an opportunity to get to know them. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked, “Dr. Brooks why didn’t my doctor tell me that?” I’m sure you’ve been asked that very same question. In short, it’s because they didn’t take the time to talk, to educate, and mostly to listen. As chiropractors, we couldn’t function without knowing our patients. Our success would be minimal and our practices a failure. We know about their birthdays, vacations, first visit from the tooth fairy, favorite toys and all about their social lives. We are family.
I decided to write this piece after having my first patient pass away suddenly. Thankfully, as DCs, we don’t have to deal with this very often. She was seven- years-old, had a traumatic brain injury since birth, and mom couldn’t find anyone to listen. I helped her the past year, and her daughter did great given her circumstances. Many doctors looked at her as a lost cause. But was she - really? Of course not. Her mother was so appreciative that I treated her like a person, it makes me ill to think she was treated otherwise. Did I do something magical? No, I listened, I treated, and I supported the family. The mother asked me to speak at the funeral because she considered us family, and I obliged her request because I am family.
Doctors, don’t underestimate the power of your healing, and stay grounded in being the doctor that changes patients’ lives and becomes like family to them.
We are healers. We are family. And our office is home!
(Dr. Amber Brooks, CACCP, is a Board Certified Pediatric Chiropractor, Craniosacral Therapist and Biomedical doctor. She founded Whole Child Wellness to bridge alternative and traditional medicine by providing individualized and comprehensive approaches to pediatric wellness. Outside her private practice she offers physician consulting, mentoring and is also available for speaking engagements. Visit her at www.mychildwellness.com and follow her on Facebook at “whole child wellness.”)
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