How you treat your patients is just as vital to your success as a doctor as your medical training is. Some patients will come to you for basic checkups, but others will come to you for more serious health complications, which means that patients may feel very vulnerable. Or you may have to deal with the patients who are terrified of coming to the doctor but have no other choice than to schedule an appointment.
No matter the emotional response of your patient, it’s important that they feel comfortable around you. When they feel comfortable around you, they are more likely to be open, transparent, and trusting towards you. This positive doctor-patient relationship will not only be beneficial for them, but it will also be a more pleasant experience for you.
This is what patients are looking for in their doctor’s bedside manner:
You may be overwhelmed with your schedule that day, but the second you step foot inside the room with a patient, they deserve your undivided attention. If they feel you are distracted during their appointment, they are going to interpret it to mean that you aren’t really listening to them and clearly don’t care enough to.
Your patients are going to ask you a lot of questions, most of which may seem obvious or trivial. It’s important that you not only listen, but that you are actively engaged in the conversation. Answer all their questions, provide them with as much insight as possible, and reassure them when you can sense they are anxious.
It’s common knowledge that every physician must abide to a doctor-patient confidentiality agreement and, therefore, cannot share any information about you. While every patient should know this, it will help ease any feelings of vulnerability to reiterate this at the beginning of every visit.
Due to your profession, you are going to be dealing with patients who are experiencing a lot of health complications. They are already anxious about their diagnosis, so it’s important that you are empathetic of their feelings. Use positive language when talking to them and be mindful of your word choices. As much as one word could be the difference between a patient having a pleasant visit versus a patient leaving the office in a panic.