Last week I had my first D.O. appointment. It was a whole different world from the usual factory style practices I've been to before. The office was quiet with pleasant lighting. There was soft ocean sounds being played in the lobby and in the exam room. The doc was relaxed and took his time. We talked about my symptoms and what I've been through up until now. He looked at me when we were talking and appeared to think about his responses before saying anything. Then came the exam.
I want to call the exam a physical exam because that seems like a good description but I feel like that might give you the wrong idea. We've all had physical exams before that include the same old things: looking in the eyes and ears, checking reflexes, walking away from the doc and then toward the doc...you know the drill. That is not what this was. He checked all of my major joints and bone structures paying special attention to my head, neck and spine. He did some manipulations that seemed similar to what you might get with a chiropractor but without any popping or sudden twisting motions.
Overall, I feel like it was a good start. I felt like he heard everything I said AND believed what I was telling him. That alone was a relief. He seemed knowledgeable about my conditions and clearly views the body and mind as one big system that works together. He suggested I add a couple simple things to my daily stretches and he ordered a different night guard for me to use when I'm sleeping.
While it's too early to know if this is going to be the right doc for me, this was definitely the best initial appointment I've had in years. The thing is, I don't expect any doc to be perfect. BUT I want one who can listen and work with me. I want to be treated like a human being. I want to be able to question the path I'm on and not have the doc get defensive. I'm optimistic that this new doc meets this basic criteria.