What makes a doctor or any other medical professional (PAs, nurses, dentists, etc.) likeable?
- She makes the patient feel important.
- He makes the patient feel comfortable and safe.
- She makes the patient the center of her attention.
- He treats the patient with respect.
Medical school, with its rigorous academics and focus on data, doesn’t deal much with bedside manner and patient communication. However, just as your thoughts and emotions affect your decision-making ability, they also affect those of your medical provider. According to Jerome Groopman, MD, in his book How Doctors Think: “the effects of a doctor’s inner feelings get short shrift in medical training…”
Bringing awareness to medical providers about how their patients truly feel when they are around them was the goal when HerdWise partnered with Caren Reaves, MD to present a pilot experience to several healthcare professionals.
Based on the curriculum utilized for nearly 10 years at the Stanford University School of Medicine, the objectives included:
- becoming more aware of the subtleties of verbal and nonverbal communication
- improving attention, mindfulness, and focusing abilities
- becoming aware of congruence/incongruence of intention vs. behavior
- identifying and respecting boundaries in ourselves and others
- confronting insecurities and developing confidence
- coping with stress
The program was well received and everyone who participated had several insights they’ll be able to utilize in caring for their patients.
If you are a health care professional who’d like to improve your bedside manner, please contact us for information on your own program.
- Is bad bedside manner a conscious decision on the doctor’s part? (psychologicalscience.org)