A doctor gets his patient to open up

Dr Mike had been a doctor a long time. He considered himself to be a good doctor and he thought he was approachable. Dr Mike had not asked for feedback on this but he was a stickler for time and following NHS guidelines for maximum prescribed patient time. Dr Mike over a period of a few months noticed had a number of repeat patients were making no progress despite his sending them for various tests.

A colleague Dr Henry who has never prescribed to set patient times but allowed his patients as long or as short an appointment as they needed, yet had no complaints about his waiting times. Despite the fact that he regularly ran 20-30 minutes late but his patients all would sit patiently waiting in the waiting room.

So one day Dr Henry offers Dr Mike some advice when they were in a workshop looking at their patient satisfaction rates.

Dr Mikes patient satisfaction scores were 5-7 yet Dr Henry’s were consistently in the 8-10 range, Dr Mike asked Dr Henry how they could be when he constantly overran his appointments.

Dr Henry explained he always shakes his patient’s hand when they came in, made eye contact if he felt it was appropriate, he didn’t touch his pen and would wait for them to speak first. Otherwise, he would simply ask “Hi how are you?”

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