Would you like to delight your patients?
See the world through their eyes!
Over my 20+ year medical career I have discovered that patients, doctors and family members enter and leave the exam room with different health beliefs, agendas and priorities.
How do I know this? I’ve been a doctor and a patient and a family caregiver myself. My medical career began the day I woke from my emergency surgical procedure just knowing I would become a doctor and save the lives of others like my own had just been saved. Not surprising I became a surgeon.
I’ve learned that doctors are driven by medical goals; patients are driven by personal goals. You have a much better chance at building rapport, increasing compliance and getting more gratitude when you see the world through your patients’ eyes.
Let’s say you have a patient with asthma. They have multiple ER visits; yet, they fail to take their inhalers as prescribed. What do you do?
Put aside judgment, accusation and blame. Instead, simply seek to understand. Consider asking these questions:
- If you were to explain asthma to your friend, what would you tell them?
- What makes you feel healthy?
- What triggers your asthma attacks?
- What part of your body tells you that you are headed towards breathing trouble? What can you do at that point?
- What are the most awful parts about having asthma? About taking medication?
- What are your biggest fears?
- How would your life be different if you did not have asthma?
- Can you afford to buy medication?
Consider going to an online forum for patients with asthma and see what questions they ask. It’s a sobering experience!
You will launch a deeper and more positive collaboration with your patients when you take time to understand them.
To your success!
Vicki Rackner MD
Helping medical practices accelerate healthy growth
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