Essential skill series for doctors – communication

What makes a good doctor? The answer to this question is the one that we, as doctors are continuously seeking and do all that we can to provide the best treatment and services possible. We could be inspired by our mentor, loved ones, individuals whom we idolize and even through feedbacks from our patients.

Most of us believe, learning and experience can help us become an exceptional doctor that we seek to be. And for this reason, we spend all our time and money in understanding and learning new concepts in whatever field you maybe in. More certificates and degrees means you are the “go-to doctor” right? It’s only partially correct. I am not saying to stop going after certificates. There is lot more to a doctor than certificates. A doctor to a patient; means hope and end to all the sufferings a person is currently experiencing. This experience could be physical, emotional or both. Doctors are sometimes put through tough stress to meet the patient’s expectations.

Patient management need not be stressful. There is an easy way and that is “time”. Yes, your time that the patient has paid in the form of consultation fee. Some of us believe its our right to take a consultation fee on top of any other procedures and it is perfectly okay as long as we can provide value for the money they spent. The best way to say thank you to your patients is to provide your time. It could be anywhere between half an hour to an hour as it could take a while to learn more about your patient and also for them to learn more about you.

Remember! It only takes 3 seconds to gather an opinion about others and so, put your best energetic face forward every time a patient or even a visitor walks into your room. Here are top 5 tips on how to spend quality time with your patient apart from actual consultation of the presenting symptoms.

Tip 1: Listening to your patients will help you to know more about them and also to better arrive at a diagnosis early. Pay attention to their body language which is also a part of listening process.

Tip 2: Tell a true story from your experience that maybe similar to the condition that the patient is experiencing. Try keeping it brief and with a positive outlook that they can relate to.

Tip 3: Provide a detailed things-to-do to get better apart from the medications prescribed, in a slow and structured manner. Try and answer as many questions the patients ask as possible.

Tip 4: Adding humor to your conversation can also help your patients lower their anxiety levels and will positively incline towards the treatments that you suggest. Laughter is a great stress reliever and adds to build good rapport with your patients.

Tip 5: Share a bit of your life to show the human side of yourself. It can help create an emotional connection with your patients, which can also increase patient’s loyality towards you. Hint: put up some family or holiday pictures on a wall behind you. This is an excellent conversation starter.

Mastering these techniques will help you become the “go-to doctor” in town. You can make use of this valuable time to build your practice through referrals and word-of-mouth through these tips. Some of these tips may come naturally to you, while others will require some training. There are tons of materials on effective communication skill development available on the internet today. You can also follow a coach such as Phil Bedford (https://www.linkedin.com/in/philbedford/) or an organization to be more effective at presentation and communication.

Trust you were able to relate to the topic and finds it relevant to your area of expertise. Please do comment and share your suggestions or experience that may add value to others.

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