“There’s a very simple formula for success: Do unto others as you would have done unto yourself,” he said. “Just put yourself in the patient’s position. How would you like to be treated? How would you like to be talked to if you had the same problem that the patient presents to you with? It’s very simple, but it seems very difficult for most physicians to obtain.”
Explore This IssueMarch 2015
The initial impression is crucial in creating good rapport. This goal is facilitated when an actual person answers the phone and when that first contact asks the right questions in advance to make the first visit run smoothly. Also crucial are office cleanliness and staff who are respectful of patient needs and privacy. “The most important thing is the time you spend with the patient,” he said. “There’s no substitute for that.”
Physicians should aspire to be “professional, confident, polite, and sympathetic.” Dr. Persky said that rushing can lead to mistakes and miscommunication, and he advised that physicians who are running late should always apologize.
When discussing treatment options, he presents them and then gives his preference before asking the patients for theirs. “They’re there for your experience and expertise, so I tell them what my preference is after presenting all the options.”