The Punch Line Is Easy After 20 Years of Diagnosing Symptoms

Written by Dr. Bill Booker

On November 2, 2017

“I have to make an announcement.  I plan on retiring soon. It’s time for me to do this frankly because, it’s just gotten too easy.”

This is how Dave Chappelle opened his recent comedy tour.  Dave (I call him Dave) pointed out that he has been doing comedy for over 30 years and it has gotten to the point that it is no longer a challenge for him to make people laugh.  To prove his point, he gave the audience his punch line to a joke first, and then told the joke, promising that everyone would burst out laughing when he got around to the punch line. As promised, he delivered, and the punch line was even more hilarious than expected.

Well, after more than 20 years, we at Capitol Rehab have arrived that point.  About 90 percent of the time, my staff — massage therapists, physical therapists, and fellow doctors (who will all hate me for saying this, but in confidence would admit it) — are correct at diagnosing symptoms before patients finish describing them.

“I work for the government and sit at my desk …”
“SAY NO MORE!  You’ll be fine in two weeks, let’s get started.”

“I’ve been training for my first marathon and …”
“AHA! Take your shoes off, let’s get started.”

This is what happens after working at — and using — a skill for over 20 years.  It shouldn’t come as a shock or a surprise that I would say this. Think about it. What are the chances that your veteran, well-seasoned dentist looks in your mouth, steps back stunned, and says, “My God! What is wrong with your teeth?”

This is why, generally speaking, the public looks toward experts to answer questions about everything. Unfortunately, in this new digital world, where the Internet is king and all types of information are at our fingertips, we are challenged to be able to decipher the knowledgeable from the know-nothing.

That’s why in our office, we believe the seven most dangerous words from patients are: “I was looking at the Internet and …”

So, I leave you with three simple nuggets of advice as I and my staff continue to expand our vast knowledge about health, chiropractic, physical, and massage therapy:

  1. We love that you continue to trust us as your experts in treating your aches and pains as well as your injuries and accidents.
  2. Please continue to ask questions and seek out advice from us and other experts as you navigate your health.
  3. Wednesday was the beginning of open enrollment for health care. A wide range of really good options are available, and the process is not nearly as scary as you think, so if you need insurance or want to explore new options, go to healthcare.gov for more information.

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