Whether you’ve been a practicing doctor for years or are just entering the profession, it stands to reason that the relationship between a doctor and their patient is crucial in treating a patient properly. Forming this relationship is becoming harder as technology continues to advance, and stunts the doctor’s ability to connect with their patient, take a comprehensive history, and conduct a physical examination. Ensuring that all physicians understand how vital this connection is to the healthcare process will solidify what it means to be a physician: clinical care and patient wellness. Here are a few ways to make sure these core values stay with you.
Patients are going through a rough time when they see their primary physician, so a doctor should have an empathetic ear and really listen to what they’re going through. Having empathy helps build trust between a doctor and their patient, and the more a patient trusts you, the more they’ll be likely to adhere to their treatment plan. Meeting a patient’s eye while they talk, sitting at their bedside while they speak, or—with their permission—holding their hand also helps build that trust and will make your job, as a healer, much easier.
Explain in a way they’ll understand
Not everyone will understand specific medical terms or know what to do with that information. In order for treatment to go smoothly, your patient will need to know what you were talking about in the first place, so when going over the information, make sure to avoid overly technical terms and explain your findings in a way they’ll be able to get. Another good habit to get into is letting your patient ‘ask the last question’ once you’re done with your explanation. This will let them confirm their understanding of your discussion and make sure they understand their treatment plan.
Telemedicine is changing the field
Since the world went into lockdown, telemedicine has become more prominent now than ever before. Through telemedicine, patients are able to consult with their doctors over video chat, apps, or other interfaces rather than an in-person office visit. Therefore, having strong communication skills is crucial to an effective appointment with your patient and the development of “webside” manner. With technology separating the patient from their doctor, speaking clearly with your patient is a skill that needs to be effective.