How Relatable Are You?
At the Institute for Podiatric Excellence and Development (IPED) our members share experiences and ideas to help elevate the profession and improve the success of individual practices. As with many relationships, when it comes to your patients it’s often not what you say but how you say it that matters. A patient can leave two podiatrists’ offices with the same diagnosis but a totally different impression and opinion of the practitioner. What makes the difference? It’s about connecting. Below are some tips on becoming the kind of doctor a patient feels hears them and that they have a rapport with.
The Eyes Have It
Nothing beats eye contact for making a connection with another person. Don’t make the mistake many practitioners do in this day of electronic records—look at the patient when you are speaking to them not the screen. Sitting at eye level with your patient also sets a friendlier and more at ease tone. Standing over them subconsciously conveys superiority.
Although all doctors know it, it bears repeating: patients are people too. Greet your patients in a friendly manner and start with some general small talk to put them at ease. It’s okay to share something about your day or a recent event or family moment to help your patient see you as someone he or she can relate to. Make sure, however, that it doesn’t become more about you than them.
Hone Your Listening Skills
Truly listen to your patient when they describe their symptoms. Try to avoid cutting them off mid-sentence, even when you know the end of it. Repeat back to them what they are saying to confirm that you have it right. Ask for clarification or more details as needed. Allow time for questions to be sure your patient understands the diagnosis and treatment plan you’ve outlined.
From videos and webinars to blogs and face to face meetings, we at IPED offer members many platforms and opportunities to gain knowledge about practice management, medical advances, compliance, patient outcomes, work/life balance and more. To learn more, contact us at: 978-296-7634.
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