The importance of listening

The weight misunderstandings between a patient and his doctor bear on therapeutic noncompliance, inefficacy and unforeseen outcomes is certainly widely underestimated. The more one listens the more one is confronted with the risks of assumption.
Understanding implies listening and listening implies, as well as hearing, being available to interpret, to identify gaps and to actively fill them in, preferably with what is actually ascertained, as opposed to what is expected.
Verbal language, as a means of communication, is rich in traps, ranging from local variation, to idiomatic expressions, to false friends between languages.
Overcoming those pitfalls, towards ample and fruitful understanding, requires attention to detail, clarification of doubts, deconstruction of immediate answers and mastery over the subtleties of the language.
Time, tranquility, empathy and a will to understand, assuring privacy, are necessary requirements to meet those goals.
The concepts evoqued above have no direct correspondence with competences acquired during medical training. Moreover, recognition of limitations to those non-technical skills and of the impossibility to understand and directly help each and every patient requires experience and humility.
 
Efficacious communication is not merely intuitive. When seeking medical council do not renounce to feeling heard.