“How long will I have to stop running after surgery?”
It’s a simple question that many patients ask. You can choose to give the patient a simple answer, for example, six weeks, and move on to the next topic on your laundry list of risk factors and scheduling logistics. Or, you can choose to hear this question for what it really is: an opportunity to deepen the relationship with the patient and get to know her as a person. Because if you ask follow up questions such as “What kind of running do you do? How long have you been running? Have you ever run a race?” the patient will lighten up and share her story. Plus, even if she can’t run, you can tell her what she can do.