Look like you mean it

Medical doctors learn from doctors, work with doctors, and deal with the mechanization of being a doctor.

In private practice, you need to walk across the bridge between a medical world to the world where your patients spend their time. You need to be a human being—at least part of the time—to win the respect and affection of your patients.

There is a revolution in how doctors relate to their patients. Be sure you understand how to deal with the following relatively new developments in this ageless relationship between patient and doctor:

  1. Patients like to be thought of as clients and you as their consultant, helping them find their way to better health.
  2. A patient (or client) of yours may know as much about their illness as you do.
  3. Patients are not afraid of computer-assisted diagnosis and care.
  4. Patients expect more from you than prescriptions and orders.

Some examples of how these new developments can be turned into practice-building traits in your  private practice…

  • Offer a handshake and a smile. You’re on equal footing with your patient. Show it.
  • When a patient offers information you doubt, say “That’s interesting!” and ask for the source so you can study it yourself.
  • Show your concern for each patient by asking (and caring about) how they are doing. Remember each name. Look at your client with a smile in your eyes.
  • Give the patient work to do. Keep a log for a couple of weeks. Switch to another type of diet. Walk a certain number of miles or paces. Carry out exercises you feel would help.
  • Ask your patients questions about how they feel they are doing. At the end of your time together, ask if there are any questions and then wait for a response.
  • Every patient should leave with a diagnosis. Let them know what you don’t know, what you expect, and, most of all, what you do know about the patient’s condition.

Submitted by Griffith Publishing