Friday, January 26, 2007

Is your doctor the loving type?

…An ER doc named Scott Diering has put up a site for doctors based on his book, Love Your Patients. He thinks the doctor-patient relationship should be based on agape, the Greek form of love in which one is nice for no reason—and this includes physicians.

…As well as patients.

…On his site,, he offers doctors some tips for acting with compassion, respect and humility. He asks them:

…Do I carefully read my patient’s feelings, intentions and clues and respond?

…Do I minister to my patients? Touch them? Use the word “we”?

…Do I make eye contact with the patient and visitors? Do I smile?.

…Do I excuse myself and apologize if I have to leave or take a call?

…Do I call people by their name or at least a polite Miss, Ms, or Mr?

…Do I honor confidentiality?

…Do I allow my patient to save face?

…Do I acknowledge their goals? Notice their improvement?

…Recognize their unique skills or jobs?

…Respect the patient’s time with intelligent scheduling?

…Admit mistakes?

…Use regular, plain English, not medical terms?

…Explain my rationale?

To this HA would add:

…Do I realize that while I have done this hundreds of times, the patient has not and may be scared or in shock?

…HA knows a couple of docs who could use a copy of this book! Don’t ask—she might tell ya.

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